Contemporary Building – International Style + Modernism, Current Architecture Designs
Contemporary Buildings : Architectural Zeitgeist
New Architecture – style + meaning : what do this term mean?
post updated 23 Feb 2020
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.
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 building designs 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.
‘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
Contemporary World Architecture – City Guides
Contemporary Buildings : Featured Architects
© Nic Lehoux / Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Comments / photos for the Contemporary Buildings page welcome