When creating a design, the architect needs to consider many factors if it is to stand the test of time. The building must be of high quality and sturdy construction in order for it to physically last, as well as fit with ever changing aesthetics in order to remain desirable. When commissioning a building, whether its a conservatory or block of flats, you want to ensure that it remains both functional and attractive for many years to come.
Styles and trends have varied wildly throughout the years and creating a design that keeps up with them is no easy task. One building that has managed this is The Grand Louvre phase 1, 2017 recipient of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) 25 year award. This award is given to designs that have “stood the test of time by embodying architectural excellence for 25 to 35 years”.
Awards such as this can be very useful when designing our own projects as we can draw inspiration from proven successes and incorporate these details into our own work. For example, the louvre is able to fit alongside the old building as well as its own changing environment because of its simple design and extensive use of glass that allows it to be contrasting without being jarring.
In terms of your own buildings, using a simple design means that it is able to serve as a clear canvas to the latest trends. Interior decorating is an excellent way to keep a space looking modern, and a simple interior makes this a breeze . Many buildings now have a significant glass exterior such as glass doors and skylights. By letting some of the outside in this softens the divide between the building and its environment and so the building can keep up with changing surroundings. It is important that a design is adaptable to change, both outside and within.
Creating a structure that physically lasts requires competent, qualified contractors using quality materials. While it is possible to save money by using second hand materials and doing it yourself, if your aim is to create something that lasts you need the best materials and builders you can find. A great way of future-proofing a building is to use triple glazed windows. Compared to single panel or even double glazing, triple glazing is far better at both noise and heat insulation. This makes the building more energy efficient and therefore keeping up with an ever more eco-conscious world. An excellent example of both quality construction and design is the Kentford and Kennett Village Hall. Designed by KJ Architects and built by Godfrey and Hicks contractors, the building demonstrates perfectly what is needed for a construction to last.
Alongside its strong construction it also boasts glass patio doors, clean lines both outside and in, and a neutral blue-grey exterior cladding. As mentioned before these qualities are what makes a building adaptable to change, it can be decorated and furnished to host the many functions that will be held there but also holds the potential for a change of purpose. If, for example, the land is bought by someone looking to build a home, the building could make an excellent living area, thus surviving the changing circumstances and environment.
When designing a building one key word must be kept in mind: adaptable. Quality materials and skilled contractors are essential in order for a structure to physically stand the test of time, however if changing circumstances are not considered in the design the building has the potential to become unused and derelict, no matter how sturdy in construction. By asking yourself “what will the environment look like in 50 years time” and “how will the needs of the owner/community change” you can ensure that the building will survive these changes and stand the test of time. For more examples of designs like these take a look around the KJ Architects website or get in touch with a member of the team.