Architecture is funny, as it can either stand apart from or blend into the current era. In the course of human history, architectural changes have been both simple and drastic. Often, architects and others create futuristic designs that never quite seem to come into being. Then, modern-minded artists dream up a retro style that seemingly puzzles everybody.
Because architects and societies are unique, it can be challenging to predict the future of architecture. That doesn’t stop us from trying. In this article, we do our best to outline what we see as future architecture trends. What is next in the world of architecture?
14 Future Architecture Trends Likely To Occur in the Next 50 Years
1. 3D-Printed Homes
As populations expand and resources dwindle, architects and homeowners are going to have to think outside the box. Large 3D printers could print entire homes. This includes both exteriors and exteriors. Since printed homes can be built rapidly, they will likely pop up around the globe. Basic models may likely appear in disadvantaged areas, while more extravagant versions sit next to established homes in high-end neighborhoods. Some are likely to be mobile, while others would be permanent structures. Expect printed homes to have a variety of architectural embellishments, with both modern and traditional styling.
2. Rotating Buildings
If you have ever competed for an apartment with a view, you know how limited they are. What if tall buildings rotated to give all residents an excellent look at the horizon every hour or two? That’s possible in the future. Today, building designers are considering the physical logistics of constructing tall structures around a fixed base. Each floor would rotate slowly during the day. Whether you want a city view, natural view or another type of view, you’d see it throughout the day from your home or office window.
3. Artistic Bridges
Gone are the days when bridges were only functional. In the future, bridges promise to be works of art. Architects will incorporate broad arches, interesting open spaces and other features to make bridges look as good as they function. Additionally, bridges of the future are likely to accommodate motorists, mass-transit commuters, bicyclists and pedestrians. You may even sore high over some in a gondola.
4. Reclaimed Parks
In Seoul, architects and landscapers turned an old highway into an urban green space. In New York, an old set of train tracks became a natural gathering place for citizens and tourists alike. Expect more reclamation in the future. As populations congregate in city centers, individuals need a natural outlet. Reclaimed parks provide that. We anticipate recreational areas popping up in a variety of unexpected places. Some could even be inside unused buildings. In addition to walkways, benches, trees and flowers, these places may feature public art installations.
5. See-Through Buildings
Invisible architecture is only in sci-fi movies and comic books, right? Not necessarily. In the future, architects are likely to play with sightlines, mirrors and cameras to create buildings that seemingly aren’t there at all. Early versions of these structures are could have mirrored wrapping. Later ones may have high-definition screens all over them. Either way, distinguishing these buildings from the surrounding area would be nearly impossible.
6. Disaster-Proof Dwellings
Climate change is apt to affect the way people live. Those who dwell in low-lying or storm-prone areas will need beefier houses to withstand the savages of intense weather patterns. Future architecture may include shatterproof glass, concrete walls and even bunkers. Of course, beefy architecture doesn’t have to mean ugly architecture. Expect standout designs to feature artistic elements and other flourishes to make disaster-proof dwellings appealing.
7. Indoor Natural Spaces
Modern science allows architects to put tropical indoor natural spaces in frigid climates. It also facilitates placing indoor ski slopes inside buildings in scorching desert cities. In the future, plan to see skyscrapers become planet-like structures. These buildings are likely to combine offices, residential areas and natural spaces. The architectural approach to bringing nature inside is sure to be exciting to watch.
8. Revived Past Styles
Human beings are sentimental creatures. While we like modern structures, we have a hard time letting go of the past. Meanwhile, modern restoration techniques continue to extend the life of historical buildings. In the future, we think architects will continue to give a nod to past styles. This doesn’t mean, of course, that new buildings are likely to have an old-time feel. Instead, architects will seamlessly combine ancient elements with modern conveniences to design the structures of the future.
Around the turn of the 20th century, skyscrapers forever changed skylines around the globe. As buildings stretched into the sky, cities took on unique looks. Modern building materials and design methods are sure to stretch buildings even higher. In the past, the sky was the limit. In the future, space is likely to be the goal. As such, expect buildings to reach higher and higher. While it is fun to think of these buildings as spacescrapers, there is probably a logistical limit. We aren’t anywhere close to reaching it, however.
10. New Public Squares
In the past, the public square was a place where people could mingle, share ideas and sell goods. As cities expanded outward, the need for the piazza dwindled. That is probably going to change in the future. As more citizens move back into the center of major metropolitan areas, architects and city planners are going to have to address the need for common spaces. Expect to see mixed-use areas and art installations throughout these. Also, plan for technology to be prominently featured in the public squares of tomorrow.
11. Hyperloop Stations
When airports first became necessary, they were utilitarian buildings. That is, they were made to accommodate masses of people moving through quickly. After airports were around a while, architects began to add interesting elements. For example, the tent-like terminal at Denver International Airport mimics the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains. While airports are sure to continue to develop architecturally, designers will have to tackle new forms of travel. One of these is the hyperloop. As you may know, hyperloops move commuters quickly on a cushion of air. How hyperloop stations would look is anyone’s guess. We think architects will borrow features from airports and other transit stations to build interesting and functional platforms. One thing is certain, it will be fun to watch these stations take shape.
12. Disguised Glass
An increasing number of people nowadays live in close quarters. If you live in a high-rise next to another high-rise, you may worry about privacy. Future architecture must account for this concern. Expect to see auto-dimming or disguised glass pop up in residential buildings in major cities everywhere. With just the push of a button, you automatically cloud the glass in your apartment’s floor-to-ceiling windows. When you are ready to see outside, simply push the button again.
Tunnels are not new. Those who live in cold or hot climates often walk through underground or elevated tunnels to protect themselves from the elements. In the future, though, tunnels are apt to have an entirely different look. Because tunnels can be claustrophobia-inducing spaces, architects must work to create the appearance of openness. Plan to see projection screens, water features, natural oases and other elements inside of tunnels. Likewise, expect tunnels to become more expansive in the future. As technology advances, designers are no longer constrained by rules of the past.
14. Organic Structures
Finally, we think nature is sure to play an important role in the architecture of the future. Architects today have begun to play with the idea of creating living buildings. By using organic building blocks to create futuristic structures, designers limit the environmental impact that buildings often cause. Instead of using harsh materials or depleting resources to construct buildings, architects of the future are likely to rely on materials made from plants. We aren’t talking about wood-frame buildings. Instead, we think future structures will have bricks made from corn, soy or a combination of other organic materials.
The Verdict: Future Architecture Is Going To Be Exciting To See
Predicting the future can be challenging. After all, who could have foreseen a hundred years ago that everyone would today would walk around with a small computer. Still, we have made some educated guess about future architecture. We think the 14 changes in this article are likely to occur within the next 50 years.
Whether our predictions come true or we miss the mark entirely, we are certain that future architecture is going to be exciting to see. With modern tools, new ideas and technological advancements, architects have the resources to completely alter the way roads, bridges, buildings and houses look and function. Additionally, social media and sharing platforms make international collaboration easier than ever. With architectural minds from around the world coming together to rethink planning and construction, success is virtually guaranteed. We can’t wait to see what happens next.