The Nature and Character of Contemporary Architecture

The nature and character of the contemporary architecture is complex to describe yet it is a small attempt to understand the concept from the context of the theme. The internalisation and absorption of the traditional ideas and concepts of the traditional architecture and it deliberate adaptation and modification to suit the need of the time, space and people is what contemporary architecture is all about. Let’s deal with it in some detail to gain an insight into the idea.
Nature and Character of Contemporary Architecture

 The advent of new science and technology of the construction has led to making up of the planar and simple yet magnificent structure in the word. You can find the many cities dotted with such structures. The industrial mode of production of well defined bricks and ready made concrete has laid to speedier construction of the mega structures. The innovation in the use of traditional and modern construction material has added to the process. The increasing use of glass as a symbol of freeing space and making space more public in the private domain. This is intended to keep a watch on the working employee from a corner of the office. The use of the spy camera can work well in the space differentiated by the symbolic glass structure.

The dearth of the skilled labours and artists who could spend time in making minute design and detailing of the space. The cost of employing such skilled persons is also not a viable option. In this age of redundancy when every new design of today can become stale tomorrow. The contractor/ builder along with the architects are in hurry to implement such ideas without due deliberation of the time, space and the people. The mega structures are being built to leave a unique footprint in the minds of the users. Big corporate houses want themselves to be portrayed as prominent through the iconic towers in the in the cityscape of the urban areas. The sudden accumulation of wealth in the gulf countries has led to the revival of the sense of cultural superiority being portrayed through the skyscrapers

The evolution and perpetuation of the town planning authorities has led to limiting the design options through various development controls and building bye-laws. Now it is common to see similar building being built in the housing colonies. This is happening due to two reasons, one the builder pay the architects for one design and they replicate it to cater to a number of their clients and the other reason is the development controls strictly imposed by the urban local bodies and development authorities. The existence of the multiple authorities in the process of building and design approval has led to the mushrooming of monotony in the contemporary design. As a student of architecture young architects believe that only the iconic towers are the example of the contemporary architecture which is not so.

The shifting focus of the time from the elite to common man is the characteristic of the era. This has been brought about by the advent of the democracy where the majority rules. The creation of public or corporate building is the most viable thing that modern era can conceive of. The decreasing patronage of the religion is evident from the fact that very few religious building are getting built. The prime focus of the democratic government is to meet the housing needs of the poor and improve the environmental quality of the life. So, architects of the contemporary era can be seen designing sustainable and affordable housing.
The genesis of any great ideas lies in the smaller things and incidents. Some of the architects who get fascinated with the alphabets keeps designing building in the form of such shape which meets his fancy imagination. The increasing consciousness for environment and ecology renders some architects insane to think and design green building. The criteria set for the green building makes one adopt local materials for construction which may not be suited for the durability of the structures.
During calamities and disasters, more people get killed due to falling building not due the vagaries of the nature. Do we as architects think ahead of time and space to create something which meets the human needs and not cater to human greeds? How often we as designer think about the experience of the user of the space before the structure is designed and created? It is also a fact that common man do not feel the need for hiring architect to design their living spaces. Architects works as professional and there can be rarely an architect who work like an artist to make the world a beautiful place to live.

The Maslow’ theory of hierarchy of the needs apply to the architecture as well but we are rarely aware of it. Poor people make houses for meeting their basic needs physiological in nature. They she houses as a system of enclosures of space which they call private. The middle income group people dream of houses for their safety and security. Most of the strong gates and walls are created in their building. The high income people see houses as mean of realisation of the self esteem through the magnificent and mega structures. The people like Baba Ramdev and religious and spiritual organisations like Osho International Organisation see the building as a mean of self actualization to meet the special needs of the members of the community.

Every structure which is being used for some purpose like living, commerce and recreation can be termed as contemporary in nature. The presence of the eclectic character in the contemporary design is an undeniable fact. When we start thinking of a space in relation to the context and time in which we are living then it will become clear that what is contemporary architecture.
y Shashikant Nishant Sharma
Sharma, S. N. (2013, October). Sustainable Development Strategies and Approaches. International Journal of Engineering & Technical Research, 1(8), 79-83.