24 Apr Architecture of the future, what will our cities look like?
It’s always interesting to watch science-fiction films (or The Jetsons) and see visual predictions of how our world might look in the future.
With architectural boundaries pushed every day, and our perceptions of built form continually challenged, it’s hard to pinpoint what cities of the future will actually look like. Will buildings become more abstract? Or will conservative design and a resurgence of modernist styles become prominent again? How will the earth’s climate and focus on sustainable strategies effect the built environment? How will building products evolve to meet the changing needs of designer and city?
So many questions with so little answers. Predicting the future is impossible, so for now, let’s explore a couple of conceptual ideas that might one day become reality …
No building sector is booming more than multi-residential developments. In every major city across Australia, apartments are soaring. With this boom, comes an opportunity to experiment and explore the architecture of such buildings. In Melbourne there are already several examples of boundary pushing apartments, such as Pheonix, Melbourne’s thinnest apartment tower, and Orbis, Melbourne’s most abstract apartment building. But what will the apartments of our future look like? Pushing shape and scale will surely lead to twisted structures. Hassell recently put forward Taper (pictured below), a conceptual design solution for Melbourne’s Market Quarter. Although unsuccessful, does their design provide a preview into what we can expect to start seeing in future cities?
Cities only have as much space as they have. While some buildings lend themselves to vertical expansion, others, such as concert halls, stadiums and cinema complexes, don’t. After the 2011 earthquake in Japan, British sculptor Anish Kapoor and Japanese architect Arata Isozaki teamed up to create Ark Nova, an inflatable concert hall. The inflatable design provided a temporary structure for a devastated area. The design also opened up the possibility of using inflatables for other inner city building applications – seasonal concert halls, touring art exhibitions, or what about flexible sporting pavilions? With land becoming such a commodity, will our future cities be filled with temporary, portable architectural designs, capable of easily being moved, altered or dismantled as needed?
If you think the building industry is becoming sustainably responsible now, the future has the potential to blow you away. Last year, the Museum of Modern Art and MoMA, in New York selected The Living’s “circular tower of organic and reflective bricks”, called Hy-Fi, as the winner of their Young Architects Program. The structure was built using a new method of bio-design, incorporating entirely organic material. The temporary form is made from corn stalks, specially-developed living root structures; and reflective bricks, designed by 3M, that were used as growing trays for the organic bricks before being implemented into the structure. This 100 per cent compostable design, might just be a preview into the future of sustainable architecture.
A changing skyline
As building design styles evolve, so too will our city skylines. Experimentation of shape, materiality and new engineering developments, might just mean futuristic skylines from cinema becoming reality. In 2014, Chinese architecture firm MAD unveiled their design for Chaoyang Park Plaza, a complex of residential skyscrapers, office buildings and public spaces, meant to mirror the appearance of mountains and lakes depicted in traditional Chinese landscape paintings. The development is now under construction in Beijing, and will result in an expansive skyline very similar to something you might have once seen in a Ridley Scott or Spielberg film.
The future is a hard one to predict, Team EDGE, are keen to keep an eye on developing architectural trends and sustainable technologies to ensure our products can always meet the needs of designers and architect. While the future is always unknown, if any of the above ideas become reality, the unknown looks pretty exciting.
What do you think our cities of the future will look like?