For many people, the meaning of the word “contemporary” is difficult to pin down because it is constantly evolving to adapt to a modern context. The same can be said for contemporary architecture. However, we are here to give a face and a definition to the contemporary home once and for all. Keep reading to learn how to identify this style of architecture, as well as what distinguishes it from the crowd.
What is a contemporary house?
Simply put, contemporary houses reflect today’s architecture. Although you may think that this definition makes it synonymous with modern architecture, it is actually a common misconception. Modern architecture refers to a style that was popularized from the 1920s to the 1950s, which adopted clean lines and strict minimalism. Contemporary architecture goes beyond this to define the ever-changing architectural styles of the 21st century.
Most contemporary homes have a modern twist, with design adjustments from postmodernism and deconstructivism. For the first time, we are also seeing houses where the building materials are just as important as the final product. With contemporary houses, we focus on natural and sustainable building materials.
What makes these houses so popular?
Contemporary houses are popular because they have broken the mold when it comes to changing architectural style. Traditionally, the dominant architectural style of the time will be the complete opposite of the one that preceded it. For example, the simplicity of artisanal houses is in direct opposition to the excessive opulence of the Victorian era that preceded it.
However, the same cannot be said about contemporary architecture. In fact, this style borrows a lot from modern design, its predecessor. He borrowed what was working, as you can see with an emphasis on clean, simple lines and a connection to the outside, and fixed what was not working.
This ability to choose characteristics has led to a never-before-seen emphasis on individuality. The owners were free to design their home in a way that really suited them, architectural conventions aside. Perhaps this is also the reason why contemporary design seems to stay for the long term. In general, contemporary houses try to bring the interior and exterior closer together.
Defining characteristics of a contemporary home
Although contemporary design places a strong emphasis on individuality, there are a few defining characteristics that link this style of home.
An irregular and asymmetrical facade
Emphasis on geometric shapes
Use of recycled building materials
Mixed materials on the outside (e.g. wood and stone)
One to two stories
An open floor plan
Lots of natural light
Use of natural or recycled materials
Eco-friendly systems for plumbing, heating and air conditioning
flexible layout adapted to the needs of the family