Residential Architecture After Postmodernism

Residential architecture is entering a new age. Postmodern design, with its focus on wit, reference and ornament has fallen by the wayside. Postmodern architectures used design functionally, while not necessarily conforming to any rules, especially those specific to high modernist architecture.

In today’s residential design, different materials, as diverse as brass and solar panels, work together to achieve efficiency. In essence, today’s residential design incorporates both modern and postmodern stylings and viewpoints. Le Corbusier’s notion that a house is a “machine for living,” for example, has been employed in incorporating the latest green technology and energy saving techniques, while incorporating the stylistic ornament exalted in postmodernism.

Other trends in residential design include a do it yourself aesthetic. Finding the right architects who can not only create the blueprints for a home, but who can also choose the materials and help build the final product, is preferred, since we all know that too many cooks spoil the soup. Intimacy and personality, sans postmodern irony, are stylish these days. And that means an architect should have more than a formal training in design; he should be able to coordinate the construction himself.

Different elements formerly reserved for inside homes have moved outside. architect Denver Colorado Water and fountains make a big difference when transplanted into a garden or over a wall. Different perspectives, not for the sake of being different and repudiating formal tradition, but for the sake of collaboration and imaginative re-rendering, have lately become important in residential design. The recession has also greatly impacted the way art, and specifically architecture, is created. Budgets are important, and so are out-of-the-box designs that can save money in the short term and the long.

Instead of the cultural and material context that dominated postmodernism, today there is an absence of context. Rules that brought together materials, forms and details according to each other are no longer taken as seriously as during the 20th century. It’s fine to have a front door on the third floor, a pool on the roof and art deco gargoyles over the eaves, all in the same building. Rather than postmodernism’s allusiveness, this is incorporation of different elements for their own sake.

Today we are only at the beginning of this age and architectural “movement.” But watching it take form is interesting. It seems that rather than defining itself in the negative, as did the previous one (“post”) this era of architecture will draw on the positive, incorporating elements from throughout architectural history to redefine architecture in the 21st century.


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