"If there is one thing that is predictable about architects, it is that they are eternally unpredictable. New design trends emerge from the profession as quickly as fashion changes with each passing season — but for the greatest designers out there, it is not about pure style, fleeting relevance or keeping up with Kanye. It is about establishing innovative, long-lasting solutions for a world where the environment, the economic climate and the political landscape are as volatile as ever. Architects now have to be the ninjas of the design world — and there are clear signs they are beginning to master this art.
"The shortlist for this year’s A+Awards — the world’s largest awards program for architecture and products — is littered with instances where both architects have thrown caution to the wind, producing contextual responses that defy the conventions of the construction industry to achieve their goals. Some of these projects might cause contractors to wince and investors to catch their breath — but when courageous clients utilize architects for their ability to improvise and experiment, the results are frequently groundbreaking. To mark the launch of public voting, here are just five examples of the rule-breakers rocking the 2016 A+Awards shortlist.
Rule 1: Upcycling = reclaimed floorboards and glass-bottle walls
Behold the truly outlandish 747 House by David Hertz Architects, and consider everything you thought you knew about upcycling redundant. Using the wings of an airliner as the roof of a contemporary residence might seem extravagant, but the architects point out the incredible value of harnessing salvaged materials on this kind of scale: “A 747 aircraft is enormous — over 230 feet long, 195 feet wide and 63 feet tall with over 17,000 cubic feet of cargo area alone … a tremendous amount of material for a very economical price of less than 50,000 dollars.”