Contemporary (Architecture)

Contemporary – Belonging to the same period of time.

Contemporary architecture is generally speaking the architecture being made at the present time, the architecture of the present day. Contemporary is a dynamic, changing term, yesterday’s contemporary is today’s vintage – new materials that we use today will be out dated in perhaps 10 or 20 years from now. Styles will change according to new technologies. This constant update signifies contemporary, belonging to the present day alone.

Confusing is perhaps the difference between “Contemporary” and “Modern” – although the words alone mean practically the same, in architecture the word modern recalls the early- and mid-20th-century architecture embodying the ideals of the machine age: an absence of ornament, structures of steel or concrete, large expanses of glass, a whitewash (usually stucco over brick) or another minimal exterior expression, and open floor plans. (Think of Le Corbusier perhaps one of the most influential architects of the modernist times).