I think that in roughly fifty years, the skyscrapers being built today will look like the modernist skyscrapers that gained popularity after the war. Trends suggest that future architects will have very different priorities than modern high-tech skyscrapers with steel structures and glass claddings.
Sustainability as a concept has become increasingly important over the years. In fact, truss skyscraper concepts were showcased as the next era of design focuses on greater harmony with nature. For example, cross laminated timber is becoming an increasingly popular building material as it offers a lightweight and durable alternative to steel frame buildings. Construction times and CO2 emissions would have a positive impact on these changes. The urban experience and its impact on physical and mental health will be of particular interest to designers and architects in the future. This means customers and local governments will start applying for green space and access to nature before new projects can begin and receive planning permission.
Evidence of this trend are already projects, such as Sky Garden and the Garden Bridge project in London. It is true that Garden Bridge was a failed project, but the fact that it has come this far in the development process shows that there is a public appetite for designs heavily influenced by nature. Anticipating and adapting to public demand will lead us down interesting design paths. Since real estate in modern cities is already very expensive, it is important to use the space more intelligently. Multifunctional spaces that can be popularly adapted and combined are becoming more popular, and we could see more and more creative ways to use the available space
Today we see the 20th century skyscrapers as an impressive relic of the city’s past, reflecting an era when public priorities were very different than they are today. Fifty years from now, the buildings we think of as modern today will once again reflect a time when attitudes and concerns were different than they are today. Today’s skyscrapers are built using the most advanced materials currently available. Going forward, it will be up to developers to use more sustainable materials and provide spaces that offer multimedia capabilities and benefit local communities.
So that just let us one path to think on…