Our trend research last year revealed blurring lines between exterior and interior: architecture and nature. A development that seems to have gained ground in 2021; healthy environments with natural ventilation and a built environment that offers a direct connection with nature have become top priorities.
As the inside merges with the outside, multi-functional transitional areas in the form of semi-open spaces are created. The classic courtyard is re-invented and given a new context, and the rooftop becomes a logical extension of the building, offering a space in which to work, learn or relax.
As nature gradually intertwines with our urban environment, the city becomes a park, and the park becomes a city. We move, walk, stroll, run and linger in these spaces, looking for new ways to safeguard our wellbeing in a changing world.
Please join us on an imaginary walk from the city centre to the forest and see which trends we discovered.
Here are three examples from the full report:
The rooftop as a natural extension of the building is becoming the setting for a wide variety of activities. This easily won additional space is being transformed into raised gardens, office sky rooms and outdoor sports facilities, or being used as open-air education venues, for cultural expression or even as a playground for children. A development that reinforces the building of today’s increasing tendency towards multi-faceted use.
As an open yet secluded space, high up in the sky, the rooftop has become the ideal place for recharging, relaxing, learning and working. With plenty of daylight, natural ventilation and the direct influence of seasonal changes, the rooftop connects seamlessly with basic biophilic design principles.
Hermetically closed-off buildings are gradually giving way to a new hybrid architecture. Half building, half garden, in one single iteration; a symbiosis of nature and the built environment. Transparent and permeable with natural ventilation to create healthy environments.
As grid-like structures enveloped by greenery, buildings are providing a green infrastructure for urban farming to support the newly revived philosophy of self-sufficiency among urban dwellers.
Buildings are not only becoming more permeable on a physical level, but also on a social level thanks to so-called urban living rooms: safe spaces in which to seek shelter and come together. The community is at the heart of modern design.
The power of the flower is blooming; its versatility being explored. It can feed the imagination, celebrate, comfort, commemorate, unify, promote, decorate or create a multi-sensorial poetic experience.
The flower is colourful and enchanting and abundantly used as a source of inspiration for interior design. Overlooked native plants are being rediscovered, revalued, and used as a backdrop to retail environments or as open-air décor for fashion shows. We are even seeing the flower incorporated into digital visualizations of future healthcare environments in the form of flexible and self-sufficient buildings with integrated botanical gardens for education, research, and enjoyment.