The building industry is continuously evolving. Yet, when modernism broke out onto the scene in the 1900s, something changed. The principles of this movement proved to be so functional and beneficial to the environment and the health of humans that in modern building designs, architects cannot help but reflect back.
Modern architecture is in a league of its own. Encompassing the best of modernism and the crème de la crème of contemporary design. It’s not sentimental but innovative, experimental and minimal, and the environment will thank you for it.
The characteristics of modern architecture
- Choosing function over ornamentation – There was a time when it was all about the detail but these homes are about purpose and streamlined form.
- Clean, minimal lines with broad roof overhangs – Vertical, horizontal and rectangular lines used minimalistically. Less is more.
- Natural light, ample glass facades and windows – Floor to wall glass facades do more than just create a statement, they let natural light and fresh air in.
- Making use of natural and eco-friendly materials innovatively and honestly – The authentic beauty of natural materials is highlighted in these homes and used in conjunction with eco-friendly and traditional materials like steel, concrete, iron and glass in innovative ways.
- Open, free-flowing rooms that offer flexibility – Open, grand rooms that can adapt along with the family’s needs.
At its core, modern architecture is eco-friendly because the focus is on simplicity, function and adaptability.
Modern architecture in the South African climate
South Africa is a relatively dry country. Our summers are long and incredibly hot. However, despite these characteristics, sustainable building principles and green technologies are unfortunately not given the time of day they deserve. People don’t really comprehend the full scope of their impact, trusting that developers and architects will think sustainably for them. And while some do, many don’t. Generally speaking, developers listen to what the general public wants from a development…like a state-of-the-art gym, fibre and a pool.
Using modern architecture principles for a home design is a great start within the South African context, but we have incredibly far to go. When more people start asking for solar, the use of eco-friendly, energy-efficient materials, the ability to recycle grey water and demand a connection with nature – that’s when the real change will occur.
At Veld Architects, we are passionate about people and nature. It is our goal to design with both in mind. We design healthy homes that add value to occupants’ physical and mental wellbeing, and we aim to lessen our footprint on the environment as much as possible in the process.
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