Popular Trends in Architecture and Design of Today

By Deben Moza, Joint CEO and ED, Project Management Services, Knight Frank Property Services


Deben Moza, Joint CEO and ED, Project Management Services, Knight Frank Property Services

Changing business environment and choices bring alterations in the design thinking and methodologies. Real estate architecture and design is no exception to this. The changing consumer need patterns and utilitarian orientation are taking the innovation wagon to a new normal. And when the pre-established trends are challenged by new needs, the actual innovative thinking takes over.


Traditional requirement of the established classes have always been aligned with luxury and distinguishable design thinking, whereas the other section was focused on the best possible work done in affordable resource expensed. The change in Indian market dynamics clubbed with the speedy evolution of the entrepreneurial and corporate youthful middle class is now trying to push the volume of these requirements towards an innovative idea of “Affordable-luxury”. The idea gets further evolved with the addition of “Ease”. While the prerequisite is to have as much tech involved into the spaces to create an ease of doing things, the ease of commuting to the spaces is also a larger consideration taking the requirement from the developer community towards something that has never been tried before. Taking this as an opportunity, the idea is taken to a next level with the thought of developing more in less space. Compact housing, innovative and smart work spaces are a few ground breaking concepts that are converted into reality. These changes are banking on the shoulder of better space planning, design considerations, creating best use scenarios at all levels and best material selection methodologies that should be used, to name a few. Though these have always been a part of project planning, the focus on these factors are now getting bigger now a days.


A key consideration in the whole scheme of creating Affordable-Luxury is Material Selection. While the requirement is to create sustainable green spaces, the core of any development is the selection of material. With a competitive open market system, the gap between conventional material and sustainable material is practically diminishing bringing sustainable and green considerations into picture. Having cost considerations into account, the carbon footprint methodology brings the green thinking around the core elements, and thus localized procurement is now affecting the whole dynamics of design and having creative spaces.


As the demand driven market is bringing changes into choices of spaces and designs to accommodate more in less, the housing segment is looking forward to compact housing having a lap of luxury. With a slowdown in the residential market at an overall basis, the affordable luxury segment is trying to have this trend on a reverse trajectory. Residential market on one hand is pushing the developer for a rethink to accommodate low demand; Office market on the other hand is pulling the innovation towards itself with day by day increasing demand.


Trends in the Office Space:

With the office market at an all-time low vacancy levels, the economic factor of demand driven cost increase comes in play. With the rising cost of per square feet of office spaces, the in turn demand of creating next level office spaces optimized for space, usage, cost and operations with innovative architecture alongside comes in picture.


One of the common design considerations has been to eliminate duplication of spaces and cutting on unwanted circulation spaces. This in turn is creating a more open & collaborative work space. By this philosophy the traditional considerations of optimal space utilization and open spaces is catered alongside the new age requirement of creating collaborative work spaces with less of divisions among the management and the rest. With this it also helps creating private spaces in a collaborative environment helping the knowledge workers to have a better focus while working.


Trends in the Hospitality Sector:

The hospitality sector has witnessed great changes in the architecture and design. Couples of trends that we have noticed are as follows:

•  There is increase in demand for sustainable, healthy, locally authentic properties, with an eye toward attracting tourists as well as business travelers. We are witnessing increase in the numbers of budget hotels especially closer to the large industrial and commercial developments to cater to their needs.

•  Adaptive reuse of interesting non-hotel buildings like heritage buildings, palaces etc. that provide a strong sense of place and culture. With India becoming favorite spot for destination weddings there is lot of demand for heritage structures which can be converted to hotels.

•  Renovation of existing hotel properties to meet pent-up demand and rising consumer expectations. The technology has changed so much over the years that the existing hotels need serious up gradation.

•  Renewed popularity of large projects mixing hospitality, residential, workplace, entertainment, sports, and other functions.

•  Rise of the value-oriented “select- service” category, bridging the gap between luxury and economy.


Design and Architecture goes hand in hand and with the shift in office and residential environment, these core elements are now becoming more and more innovation driven. The innovative thinking, thus, is now transforming architecture which is a balanced work between science and art, tilted more towards the artistic side. 

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