There are two major trends emerging in architecture these days.
One has a rustic feel, inspiring images of cosy log fires, wooden panelling, and exposed brick and stonework, while the other is entirely more modern and takes its influence from the world of engineering.
The desire for rustic architecture and interior design is inspired by our need to be surrounded by comfort, echoes of childhood holidays, and the natural world, while the popularity of minimalism and technological innovation has increased over time. It’s not enough for our homes to look good anymore; we also want them to work with and for us.
Buildings that have been inspired by engineering innovations aren’t simply functional; they are among the most beautiful examples of modern architecture, including the clever use of materials, cool and crisp lines, practical features, and contemporary designs that mimic the period in which they were built.
Modern design has to be stylish and timeless, and it has to support our busy lifestyles and work routines. It is, therefore, often minimalistic and clean-looking to emphasise our need for space and calming influences. Clutter is a hindrance in the modern household. Modern architecture also brings an engineering feel with its use of technology.
We no longer rely on the appliances within our homes, but instead, we want the buildings themselves to work for us. Large windows that encourage sunlight, clever energy-saving innovations, open, adaptable spaces, and clever layouts that allow for hidden storage are all excellent features of modern architecture that have drawn influence from engineering innovations.
Looking for a little inspiration of your own? Look to the Gherkin, the Shard, and Canary Wharf in London, the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, and the Selfridge Building and library in Birmingham. Each of these is a remarkable example of engineering and architecture coming together.
The great thing about architectural and engineering inspiration is that they are interchangeable. Just as the engineering world has inspired architectural innovations over the years, the buildings that we inhabit have also provided a major influence over scientific and mechanical creations.
In order to be the very best in their field, renowned engineers, such as Sir Nigel Rudd of Meggitt, must keep their fingers on the pulse at all times, regardless of whether innovations are taking place within their own sector or not.
For example, engineering advances in the aerospace and energy markets, which are both specialities of Meggitt, often begin life on an architect’s drawing board, just as many ideas that end up in our homes may have been designed to work in space.
These days we want our buildings to incorporate as many modern aspects as possible, and so the crossing over of architecture and engineering is bound to happen. Along with developing architects’ ideas and finding inspiration in modern living, engineers such as Sir Nigel will be keen to follow the trends that are emerging in the design world.
What works? How does it work? Can something stylish be altered to work better? The world of engineering is filled with questions, and many of those can be answered by architecture and design, and the ways these innovations work during contemporary life.
These days, architects are looking for bigger and bolder ways to make our world, and the buildings in which we live and work, adaptable for the modern age. While art and literature were once big influences, engineering has now taken the fore as we search to incorporate technology, science, and environmental living into our homes.
Similarly, engineering can look to architecture as it seeks to provide innovations on earth and beyond. The two, it seems, are perfectly matched.