Contemporary Building – International Style + Modernism

Contemporary Buildings : Architectural Zeitgeist

New Architecture – style + meaning : what do this term mean?

Contemporary Building

This site focuses on contemporary buildings around the world. However, a basic understanding of what ‘contemporary’ often denotes is useful. Certainly within the field of architecture ‘contemporary’ 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.

Singapore Tower
picture from architects

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.

In fact many current buildings reuse Modern typographies ie stylistic devices from the International Style. Let’s be bold and suggest some: Allan Murray’s A1, A2 and G1 buildings at Edinburgh Park all use simple forms; they all use flat planes of white render; glazing wraps around corners; fenestration is often fabricated from black mouldings akin to Le Corbusier’s fenetre longeur. Thus these buildings from the turn of the 21st century are (loosely) described by some commentators as being contemporary buildings whereas in fact they are more accurately described as current buildings (though this becomes weaker every year that passes) or neo-Modern buildings.

Crystal Island Moscow
picture from architects

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

Contemporary Architects – Definition Summary
Frank Gehry
Frank Gehry
image from STV

Contemporary World Architecture – City Guides

Barcelona Architecture
Cambridge Architecture
Copenhagen Architecture
Edinburgh Architecture
Glasgow Architecture
Hong Kong Architecture
New York Architecture
Paris Architecture

Contemporary Buildings : Featured Architects

Santiago Calatrava
David Chipperfield
Terry Farrell
Foster & Partners
Future Systems
Frank Gehry
Zaha Hadid
Toyo Ito
Rem Koolhaas
Henning Larsen
Daniel Libeskind
Richard Meier
Enric Miralles
Jean Nouvel
Renzo Piano
Richard Rogers
Moshe Safdie

Office Buildings

University Buildings

Museum Buildings
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Building
© Nic Lehoux / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Contemporary Housing

Contemporary Interiors

Contemporary Japanese Buildings

Contemporary Museum Buildings

Comments / photos for the Contemporary Buildings page welcome

Contemporary Buildings – page

Website: Building