A building that is designed by an architect today may last for well over 100 or even 200 years to tell the tales of the past and thus in effect, has already actually shaped the future.
Most architects would never restrict their amazing imaginations to what is possible right now but rather to what could be and what they wish for.
The image of futuristic architecture or futuristic buildings has transformed many times, all influenced by inventions and technological developments which had changed the way people perceived the future.
The Rise of Futurism
One vision of futuristic architecture was by the Italian architect Antonio Sant’Elia, co-creator of the “Manifesto of Futurist Architecture.” Sant’Elia and his fellow Italian architect Mario Chiattone presented a group of sketches under the title “La Città Nuova” or the New City. The sketches depicted their vision of futuristic architecture. Sant’Elia’s sketches reveal megastructures, industrial architecture, and extensive use of steel, reflecting the spirit of the machine age.
1.“La Città Nuova” or the New City 1914. The sketches depicted their vision of futuristic architecture. Sant’Elia’s sketches reveal megastructures, industrial architecture, and extensive use of steel, reflecting the spirit of the machine age.
1.“La Città Nuova” or the New City 1914.
2. At the same time, the style known in French as Arts Décoratifs, also known as Art Deco, rose in France and spread all over the world. It was inspired by the same technological developments that lead to Italian Futurism. Art Deco combined geometric shapes with bright colours as well as a twist on decorative details from ancient civilizations.
2. Art Deco
Chicago Tower 1922, USA. Art Deco combined geometric shapes with bright colours as well as a twist on decorative details from ancient civilizations.
The Space Age
After World War II, new inventions gave people hope that a better future could be waiting for them. One of the achievements that illuminated that hope was space exploration. The Jetsons was a popular cartoon running from the early 1960s, following the Googie architecture style’s rise to popularity in the 1950s. This style featured curving and round forms, inspired by flying saucers and atomic diagrams.
Post-1945, what was known as Futuristic Architecture eventually became Neo-Futuristic Architecture, which includes numerous works by Eero Saarinen, Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, and Cesar Pelli.
One group that took futuristic architecture to the next level was the Avant-Garde group London-based Archigram. Founded by Peter Cook, it was highly active in the 1960s and 70s, coming up with hundreds of conceptual illustrations and drawings of futuristic cities, which mostly featured megastructures, dynamic, mechanised architecture, and automation.
3. Googie architecture
An example of Googie architecture. LAX, USA, 1962.
The Digital Revolution
In the 1980s, architecture started to emulate computers, whereby modelling and simulations became an essential part of the design process. Moving forward to the second half of the 20th century, researchers started noticing the negative influence of all the technological developments and human activities in the past couple of centuries on the environment - think ozone depletion and climate change. By the early 21st century, this mass awareness translated into environmental action, and the term sustainability became part of the common vernacular.
What became known as Parametric design experienced a leap in the 1980s, thanks to developments in the field of computer design and software. Frank Gehry‘s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall, built between 1999 and 2003 is one well-known example.
4. Parametric design
What became known as Parametric design has significantly experienced a leap in the 80s, thanks to the developments in the field of computer design software.
Parametric design, University of Oregon, USA.
5. Neo Futuristic Architecture
Neo Futuristic Architecture eventually became Neo-Futuristic Architecture, which includes numerous works by Eero Saarinen, Oscar Niemeyer, Zaha Hadid, Santiago Calatrava, and Cesar Pelli.
The inauguration of the Oscar Niemeyer foundation building in Niteroi, Brazil, 2010.
6. Sustainable architecture
Sustainable architecture has become a necessity rather than an option and as such, evaluation systems have been developed to grade buildings based on their energy performance and their environmental impact. Concepts—like vertical forests, green roofs, roof gardens, and green walls, which incorporate greenery into the built environment have become commonplace across the world.
10 Corso Como Milan, Italy.
7. Parametric design
Frank Gehry‘s iconic Walt Disney Concert Hall in the US was built between 1999 and 2003 and is one well-known example of Parametric design.
8. Skyscrapers & timber
Ever since the construction of the world’s first skyscraper in 19th century Chicago, which has a height of 55m or 10 floors, much has changed to such a point that now we have the construction of a 1000m tower in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia, some 20 times higher.
Going back to the future, timber and timber structures are not exactly new, although what is new is the technology behind that of manufactured timber. Wood is one of those materials which has undergone a lot of experimenting to be incorporated in buildings as structural or finishing material. HDF, MDF, veneer, and plywood are just some examples of engineered wooden materials used in building.
New technologies in the field of construction, ranging from structural systems to building materials, have made it easier and easier to defy gravity, with developments in seismic and aerodynamics research designed to guarantee the stability of high-rise structures.
1000m tower in Jeddah, Saudia Arabia Construction of the landmark is estimated to cost $1.4 billion.
However, what we may regard as a truly revolutionary twist on wood is cross-laminated timber (CLT). The commendable properties and strength of CLT have gotten architects interested in building wooden skyscrapers. So, the dream of a totally sustainable timber-framed skyscraper may not be too far from reach.
Information courtesy: https://www.arch2o.com/visions-futuristic-architecture-transformed/