It would be a brave person who makes any predictions for 2021, after the year we’ve just endured. However, that hasn’t stopped designers, architects and commentators online and in the press giving their thoughts on the impact the pandemic is likely to have on architectural and design trends now and into the future.
We’ve rounded up their big ideas:
Unsurprisingly, after we’ve all spent almost a year confined to our homes, the key trend in the residential market is for getting outside – and blurring the lines between inside and out. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or even a balcony, that means sliders and bi-folds to make the connection seamless.
The working from home trend isn’t coming to an end any time soon – even if it eventually becomes a blend of home and office for most people. That will continue to drive demand for garden rooms, which generally don’t need planning permission, and for home extensions which allow homeworkers to create a dedicated office space. And, for all those who have discovered the benefits of working out and keeping fit at home rather than at the gym, light filled spaces with panoramic windows where they can exercise are high on the agenda as well.
Smaller offices – bigger meeting rooms
While new office building is likely to be constrained for some time yet while investors and developers judge the shape of future work patterns, it seems likely that there will be demand for smaller offices spaces with larger meeting rooms which allow space for social distancing and for greater flexibility as workers return to offices later this year. In fenestration terms, that means rising demand for curtain walling which maximises the light coming into these rooms
It also looks likely that there will be renewed emphasis on conversion and restoration – as residential, commercial and industrial buildings are restored and repurposed and brought up to current environmental and performance standards. The government’s £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme will obviously help to drive some of that in housing, with funding available for insulation and heat pumps, as well as double or triple glazed windows and energy efficient doors to replace single glazed originals.
Reconnecting with nature
Whether it’s been walking in the countryside, exercising in the park or just gardening, there’s been a general acceptance that reconnecting with nature helped many of us get through 2020. Looking ahead, that will be reflected in an increased focus on environmentally friendly materials, including 100% recyclable aluminium, and in the colour trends for both inside and out. Natural, earthy and calming are the terms being used, encompassing greens, blues and golden browns.
We’ll be looking in more details at some of these trends and what they might mean for AluK and for our customers in the coming weeks – keep an eye on the blog and our social platforms for more details.