Contemporary vs. Modern Architecture: Learning the Difference

When it comes to architecture and interior design, the terms “new” and “contemporary” are often interchanged. Despite the similarities between historic and contemporary houses, there are significant variations between the two styles. We’ll break down the key elements of historic and contemporary architecture in this article and explain how to tell them apart.

What is Modern Architecture?

Modern architecture arose at the turn of the twentieth century, influenced by the modern art movement, and remained a prevalent style until the mid-century. Although there were several different interpretations of modern architecture around the world, each was a reaction to significant technological developments at the end of the nineteenth century.

Reinforced concrete, cast iron, and plate glass were new materials at the time, allowing architects to deviate from historical architectural precedents. Minimalist architecture that emphasizes function characterizes modern homes. Their rectangular shapes, lack of adornment, and exteriors distinguish them. Many modern homes were also built with the surrounding environment in mind. Some of the major characteristics of modern architecture are asymmetry elements, natural materials and large glass windows. 

What is Contemporary Architecture?

Contemporary architecture, unlike modern architecture, is not tied to a specific time frame. That is, contemporary homes embody current architectural trends; what is contemporary today might not be contemporary in 20 years. This form of architecture, on the other hand, is complex in nature, combining past and present design elements.

As a result, contemporary homes often contain elements found in modern homes and due to that, the two are often confused.

Contemporary homes are distinct in that they incorporate a variety of architectural styles. Although they have the modern home’s minimal adornment, open spaces, and wide windows, they also have a free-form composition and style. 

Eco-friendly, sustainable architecture and smart-home technology are also popular features in many contemporary homes, reflecting a response to today’s climate-change emergency. Contemporary houses, for example, are often made of natural and recycled materials. Some of the major characteristics of contemporary architecture are open floor plans, mixed materials and sustainable designs. 

Why These Differences are Important

It’s in your best interest to use accurate words when explaining what you want when buying a home to your specific architect or designer. It’s also helpful to understand what a broker, architect, or homebuilder means by “new” or “contemporary.” Also industry experts will often use the two terms interchangeably, which can be confusing for potential homebuyers. Understanding the distinctions between classic and contemporary architecture will help you better appreciate your own personal style and what you want your home to look and feel like. 

So here were some of the main differences between contemporary and modern architecture that will help you better understand and differentiate between these two.

For further assistance of the latest designs and trends, Inspiral Architects is available around the clock at your service. One of the best Architect Consulting Firm in Indonesia, Inspiral Architects is just a contact away at info@inspiralarchitects.com and +62 (0) 361 300 3480.