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What is Contemporary Architecture Design?

Contemporary Architecture Design is not a style, such as Baroque or Victorian or Ranch or even Modern, but rather a catchall description for the work being done by architects of the 21st century. Over the last thirty years architecture has changed dramatically due to the use of advance technology, innovative building materials and techniques.

As a result of computer-aided design, architects today can create buildings that would have been impossible to conceive let alone build 20 years ago. When it comes to style, innovation is a signature element of this contemporary building style, which determines itself through the expressiveness of form and design, driven by the desire to create something that has never been built before.

Also, In terms of architecture, “contemporary” and “modern” aren’t synonyms. Modern refers to the modernist architecture of the early and mid-20th century, where ornamentation and sentimentality were out; clean lines and superior function were in.

However, over time, a younger generation of architects came to feel that modernism tended to be cold and unfriendly. Postmodernism and deconstructivism came along to tweak the modern ideal, leaving us with our contemporary state of affairs.

Contemporary Building Style

Today’s contemporary architects produce some of the most unexpected and inventive buildings imaginable. These include both residential and commercial structures.

Residential Contemporary Design:

Southern California has developed a reputation for “cutting edge” residential architecture and Frank Lloyd Wright could be considered one of the pioneers of this reality as a result of the homes and buildings he designed and built throughout California. Like Wright, California’s 21st century architects have developed a contemporary architectural aesthetic similar to Wright’s in that it focuses a great deal of attention on California’s landscape and the environment. Here is a list of features that are often identified with today’s contemporary building design:

  • Focus on natural light and access to the outdoors – floor-to-ceiling windows, clearstory windows, wall-wide windows and window walls that open onto a wide variety of outdoor spaces and designs, allowing the indoor and outdoor to merge.
  • An open floorplan that reflects today’s casual life style – flowing from one area to another, no longer constrained by the formality of a separate kitchen, dining room and living room.
  • Mixed building materials used in combination in both the interior and on the façade ¬ including concrete, steel, glass, stone, wood and metal panels
  • Free-form organic architecture where the structure’s façade is made up of different shapes allowing the house to offer a unique profile depending upon how one views the property.
  • Environmental consideration and sustainability are of growing importance in the design and execution of contemporary homes. This includes the use of a wide variety of reclaimed materials and solar power for lighting, heating and air conditioning.

Commercial Contemporary Architecture Design:

The single most important concern of contemporary commercial architects is what has been the single most important concern of all commercial architects and that was, or almost always is, the budget. However, today’s architects have at their disposal the ability to use computer generated design combined with imagination and innovation to create the most amazing structures with such precision and detail which allows what was unbuildable 10 years ago to be built today.

Natural light and unconventional materials are both as important in commercial design as they are in residential. So too is sustainability and eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials.

The natural world has also become a consideration in the development of organic inspired architecture. Through the manipulation of expectation, the use of open space and perspective-bending-shapes, the architect is transforming what used to the four-square commercial property, where almost every building resembled its neighbor, into buildings that manage to seamlessly blend the building’s exterior space with its interior.

Today, nothing is off limits for the contemporary architect, just take a look at The Most Amazing 88 Contemporary Architects And Their Work to see what the mind can conceive and the hand and computer can now build.

Mixed Materials in a living space is often a feature in Contemporary Architecture Design | Dean Larkin Design
Open Floorplans are often a feature in Contemporary Architecture Design | Dean Larkin Design
Contemporary Architecture Design | Dean Larkin Design

Contact Dean Larkin for Exceptional Contemporary Architecture Design in California

Dean Larkin Design was established in Los Angeles in 1999. This modern architecture firm maximizes the intrinsic potential of a location while meeting each client’s specific lifestyle, business or institutional needs. Dean Larkin is very familiar with both historical and contemporary architecture design in So Cal and the entire Los Angeles area, and the firm endeavors to achieve a complexity that is multi-layered with an effortless elegance. For a design that is modern and innovative, unlocks your location’s innate potential by making specific use of light, views and more, and is uniquely designed for the way you live, contact Dean Larkin for a consultation.