Trends in architecture change and continue to change each year, and one of the most notable changes is actually in height. With zoning restrictions and higher city density, building large, wide structures is often no longer possible. That leaves architects with only one option.
However, what that means continues to evolve so we break down how buildings have gone from being considered “tall” to 50+ floor skyscrapers.
Trends in Architecture: How Tall Buildings Started
The idea of tall buildings isn’t a new concept – they’ve been around for centuries. However, due to urbanization and lack of land space over time, this has meant that designing a tall building has been one of the only options for expanding on a small amount of space. One key innovation made this possible.
The invention of the elevator in the 1800s drastically changed what was possible for tall buildings and radically shifted urban design and planning. Now people could move safely between floors without the use of stairs and allowed for easy transportation of goods.
How the Definition of “Tall” Is Changing
With continual advances in design and materials, we’re able to literally reach new heights never possible before. A great example of this is the Burj Khalifa which currently still stands as the tallest freestanding structure in the world.
While height poses plenty of challenges in design, it also gives designers a chance to add a unique look. The gravity-defying Vancouver House with its seemingly impossible support is a great example of this.
Another one of the main trends in architecture is having multi-use or residential skyscrapers. No longer are they strictly reserved for offices, many skyscrapers now have small commercial centres, office spaces, and residential sections.
Sustainable design has also become one of the trends in architecture at the forefront. A focus of this is the well-known phrase “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
- Reduce referring to the reduction of energy and materials to reduce the environmental impact while providing the same level of comfort and structural stability (if not more so).
- Reuse refers to the idea of ‘reusing’ or ‘repurposing’ older tall structures to be renovated or modified with minimal environmental impact.
- Recycle referring to the use of recycled materials to construct new skyscrapers.
Designing a building “net-zero ready” is also one of the newest trends. “Net-zero ready” means a building would generate as much energy as it uses. This could mean the building generates energy from solar panels on the roof to offset the energy used by the building.
Modern design is heavily influenced by environmental sustainability right now—a trend that shows no signs of stopping. While it’s unclear what the future holds, one thing is for certain, skyscrapers will continue to be popular choices for buildings moving forward.