Contemporary Architecture – Buildings

Contemporary Architecture, New Building Designs, Architects, Style, Links

Contemporary Architecture

Information on Current Buildings across the Globe

There are four ways of searching for contemporary buildings on the site:

World Buildings by country

World Architecture by city

Buildings by type

Architecture by architect

Contemporary Architecture Design

This site focuses on contemporary buildings. However, a basic understanding of what contemporary often denotes is useful.

Certainly within the field of architecture the phrase denotes not just new or modern by age (ie by default) but something deliberately of our time. The phrase ‘zeitgeist’ is often used to describe something which – as the German translation suggests – is truly ‘of our time’, that is in the spirit of the time.

To take an example, Le Corbusier would consider his main body of buildings (middle period anyway, around the thirties) to reflect the times in the same way the planes and cars did, but other architects’ contemporaneous buildings – in say the Classical style – to not be contemporary. Thus contemporary buildings should exude the nature of the time in which they are built and not use past styles or typographies.

Swiss Re Building, London by Foster + Partners
Contemporary Architecture Design
picture © Adrian Welch

Contemporary Buildings suggests forms and spaces that are anti-vernacular, comfortable with new technology and non-local materials & forms, using architectural language that is not generally steeped in past typographies or traditions.

Over recent decades there have been periods in certain parts of the world of intense polarisation between the contemporary approach and what has been termed ‘traditional’, an age-old debate between old and new. Often the debate has dealt with what is deemed appropriate, and with context and quality, though style frequently is referenced.

Guangzhou Opera House, China by Zaha Hadid Architects
Contemporary Building
photo : Virgile Simon Bertrand

The contemporary building phrase carries a certain amount of baggage, more so than ‘new’ or ‘current’ as a description when applied to the built environment, but less than ‘Modern’. Modern with a capital m is of course a style fixed in history and ironically no longer modern!

Currently contemporary architecture seems focused on icon-making, each famous architect trying to outdo the next to design more and more outlandish structures. Globalisation, branding and an increase in ‘speed’ throughout our culture can result in skin-deep architecture that grabs the attention but does not provide deeper, rooted meaning.

Various countries have their own individual debates and agendas. In the UK a polarity grew in the eighties (largely thanks to Prince Charles) between traditional and contemporary. The latter camp is dominant and more numerous but the establishment is quetioned, in fact more questioning would be healthy.

Depot Beach House by Peter Stutchbury
Contemporary Architecture
photo © Michael Nicholson

In Australia Lindsay Johnson has described two camps of architecture approaches – “the “Touch this Earth Lightly” (Glenn learned of this now famous Aboriginal saying from his friend Brian Klopper) camp from the east coast, who draw their inspirations from the ground through the soles of their feet, led by Glenn Murcutt and, then, what I called the “Radical Avant-garde”, mostly centred on Melbourne in Victoria, who draw their inspirations through the crowns of their skulls out of the ethersphere, more concerned with international trends, styles and theoretical positions”.

In most European countries contemporary architecture is completely in the driving seat whereas in the US there is definitely more traditionalism with many designs combining classical elements with modern technology and materials.

Comments re the Contemporary Architecture page welcome

Contemporary Architects – Definition Summary
Frank Gehry architect
image from STV

Contemporary Building Architects

Zaha Hadid
Santiago Calatrava
Foster & Partners
Frank Gehry
Rem Koolhaas
Daniel Libeskind
Jean Nouvel
SANAA Architects

Contemporary Architecture – City Guides

Barcelona Architecture
Hong Kong Architecture
London Architecture
New York Architecture
Paris Architecture

e-architect categorise architecture geographically, historically and typologically. We focus on new architecture but fo feature the full historical range of buildings.

Contemporary Architect Photos
Zaha Hadid architect
photograph : Steve Double

Contemporary Bridges

Contemporary Buildings

Contemporary House Designs

Contemporary Houses

Contemporary Housing

Contemporary Interiors

Comments / photos for the Contemporary Buildings + New Architecture page welcome

Contemporary Buildings – page