Contemporary architecture – Functionality yields to aesthetics


Contemporary Architecture : Grammar School in Melbourne by John Wardle Architects

The sky is the limit and nothing proves it better than the achievements of modern architecture. In the past two centuries architects have introduced us to the so-called contemporary style. Ever since we’ve been witnesses to a never ending forming and reforming of the modern shape. It takes so many different forms it is hard to tell what its distinctive features are. What makes the contemporary style different than any other style in architecture is its variety and freedom. It defies no laws, it follows no strict order. It just fills the air with its one of a kind nature.

Modern Architecture from Valencia, Spain


Modern Architecture from Valencia, Spain

The four main features of architecture have always been functional, constructional, industrial and aesthetical. Combining all of them makes an architect good at their work and a building – complete. Sometimes it seems that the main pursuit of contemporary architecture is the aesthetical side. When we speak about contemporary we mean new, original, and modern. However it is clear that the pleasing exterior itself isn’t all there is to a building. Making architecture that is beautiful and not functional is not a good idea. For example the modern glass houses that have most of your rooms exposed to the outside world. The majority of them look stunning inside and out, but they take away all the privacy. Or the contemporary cubic houses, often clear of any detail and designed with little furniture so that they have that modern clean look of contemporary interior design. Those look lovely, too but they need to have a lot of additional storage space or you simply won’t have a place to put all of your stuff.

The Guggenheim Museum  in Bilbao, Spain


The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain

Modern public buildings also have their flaws. Their full functionality shouldn’t be neglected. If they are shaped oddly or have non-right angles the spaces in the buildings must be carefully allocated. It is difficult to do this with complicated shapes and volumes; everything has to be considered carefully during the design process. This is the price that modern architects pay, so to say. They should be trying to create a design in which functionality and aesthetics exist in harmony. It is essential that architects consider this when building the future or else we will be living in a pretty world that is pretty uncomfortable, too.

 Short architectural article by Kristina Hristova

Serpentine Gallery




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