July 9, 2016

Architectural Trends: How Asia Is Designing Their Modern Homes

Asian architecture and design is a fusion of styles, cultures, and civilizations. They are intricate but also minimalist, and everything else in between. There’s the elaborate Chinese architecture and Japanese minimalism. In between, you have the romantic Balinese designs.
Over the centuries, Asian architectural designs have been influenced by Western and European elements. The contemporary, fast-paced living in the Western societies are mixed with the dreamy, often laidback nature of European cultures. New designs have also heeded the call to build more green and sustainable homes. But in the face of the global trends in architectural designs, Asians have successfully weaved their culture into their modern homes and structures. Given the rich history of Asia, one could easily spot the culture and tradition embedded in every design.
Harmony of tradition and modernity
While the Japanese are among the world leaders in innovation, they see to it that while the materials, color, and furniture are contemporary, the form remains traditional. The schemes remain familiar such as a steep gable roof with deep overhangs and vertical timber-clad walls. A blending of traditional and modern elements is also rife among the Chinese. Ancient Chinese architecture, an important component of world architecture, is often characterized by the use of timber framework, stone carving, arch buildings, and courtyards. Today, cities and villages still implement some of these ancient features amid rapid development. Structural principles have remained largely the same. These two major forces in architecture are proof that accepting the new without rejecting the old is just the way to go.
Obsession with minimalism
The Japanese are obsessed with minimalism, a trend that has gone global. Sometimes, all they need is a mattress in a room. The lines are always clean and the form is always kept simple. The desire for functionality and minimalism are among the reasons why the Japanese are the modern heroes of the philosophy “less is more.”

All about balance
In modern Chinese architecture, bilateral symmetry is found everywhere from palace complexes to farmhouses. The concept of open space through a “sky well,” or a small opening through the roof, is what replaced the ancient and expansive courtyards.
Asymmetry and balance are two important elements in Asian architectural design. From the lines and the color to the furniture, everything feels just about right. These complement the traditional way of life and the modern elements of design.
Going green and sustainable
In Osaka, narrow residential building sites are rather common. But empowering living spaces by providing good insulation and generous openness for natural light and air to pass through are very much preferred.
Singapore, a small, highly-urbanized country, is also taking the lead in building green structures in the region. Innovative architectural designs and energy-saving technologies are what modern buildings are all about. The sustainable building designs feature skylights, solar panels, energy-saving elevators, efficient ventilation systems and carbon dioxide monitoring systems.
Residential designs in developing countries like the Philippines, where condo living is on top of the real estate game, also seek to be more eco-friendly. Vertical developments invest in more open spaces and energy-saving technologies. DMCI’s Lumiventt Design Technology allows natural air and light to flow through. This proprietary design features large openings into the building fa├žade and sky patios or three-storey openings at the back and front of the building.
These examples show just how Asia is becoming more architecturally responsible, and green structures are seen as worthwhile investments.
Constructing with natural materials
Hanok, the traditional Korean house, is a testament to the architectural design trends in East Asia. In accordance with strict Confucian techniques, prefabricated wooden frame structures are assembled on location. These homes are 100% natural, biodegradable, and recyclable.
Balinese architecture, one of the most popular Asian tropical architectural styles, is also distinct for having this unique harmony with nature. Local materials are used to design homes and buildings. Thatch roofing, coconut wood, bamboo poles, stone, and bricks are among the natural materials used in modern Balinese architecture. The tropical atmosphere that Balinese architecture is famous for is something that has wowed the world, giving a new name to romance and poetry in architecture.
“Green Steel” of Asia
All over the continent, architects are building green spaces by using sustainable materials, most especially bamboo. It is known as the “green steal” of the 21st century Asian architectural design. They are cheap but strong, flexible, and sustainable. From modular homes and design pieces, this local material surely has rocked the architectural scene. You can find bamboo structures in Vietnam, Japan, China, and Malaysia. The Philippines, one of the world’s top producers of bamboo, exports furniture and design pieces made of bamboo.
Like a holiday
Tropical is a favorite theme in condo building designs in Asia. The idea is to build homes that can double as a getaway after a long day at work. It’s like having your holiday at the beach every day. DMCI Homes’ resort-style living features landscaped lush gardens and koi ponds. Balinese designs also give that tropical feel. In Singapore, where everything seems to be made of concrete, the sky habitat is on the rise, with hotels investing on sky gardens and greenery. This gives tourists the tropical vibe in a highly-urbanized country. A place to escape seems like something that Asians will always want especially at a time of unparalleled modernity.
The gift of Zen
The words peace, serenity, and zen naturally come to mind when talking about Asian architectural design. You come in and you suddenly feel calm. Is it the sound of a waterfall? Is it the smell of burning incense? Zen has never really left the building, so to speak.
Altar-like alcoves, oriental pieces, natural fiber, and organic colors are not longer just unique to Asian design, but have also come to influence Western architecture. In a fast-paced world, the peace and tranquility that zen designs offer is something that the world truly craves for. Architectural trends in the region have always incorporated zen elements in homes and even in the airports. Notice the frequent use of stone, wood, and clean lines. Tones are subdued and geometric accents are fairly simple and organic.

The architectural design trends in Asia surely have a lot to do with culture and tradition. This shows just how Asians are still greatly influenced by their rich history. But that doesn’t mean they can’t move forward. They have, in fact, in such an innovative fashion. Asian architecture has adopted modern technologies and blended them well with natural elements. They are world leaders in green living architecture and eco-friendly construction, a trend that will likely make waves for years and generations to come. All these while never letting go of the uniqueness of their culture.

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