Best architectural advancements from the past 100 years

Androsky Lugo
3 min readAug 2, 2023

Architecture has been an essential part of human civilization, shaping the way we live, work, and interact with our surroundings. Over the last century, the field of architecture has witnessed numerous transformative developments, revolutionizing the way we design and construct buildings. From the introduction of innovative materials to the advent of sustainable practices, architects have continually pushed the boundaries to create structures that are not only functional but also aesthetically captivating. In this article, we will explore some of the favorite architectural developments that have emerged in the last 100 years, revolutionizing the built environment.

Modernism and the International Style:

The 20th century saw a significant shift in architectural principles with the rise of modernism. Architects such as Le Corbusier and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe rejected traditional ornamentation and embraced the use of clean lines, open spaces, and innovative materials. The International Style, characterized by simplicity and functionality, became popular across the globe. Iconic buildings like the Villa Savoye and the Barcelona Pavilion are quintessential examples of this architectural movement.

Advancements in engineering and materials allowed for the construction of towering skyscrapers, transforming the urban landscape. The development of steel frames and reinforced concrete made it possible to build structures that reached unprecedented heights. Skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the Burj Khalifa have become symbols of progress and human achievement, redefining the way cities are planned and experienced.

Sustainable Architecture and Green Building Practices:

With growing concerns about climate change and environmental sustainability, architects have embraced eco-friendly design principles. The last century witnessed a significant focus on green building practices, aiming to minimize the impact of buildings on the environment. Concepts such as passive design, renewable energy integration, and green roofs have gained popularity, creating structures that are energy-efficient and environmentally responsible.

Advancements in technology have revolutionized the way architects conceptualize and construct buildings. Parametric design and digital fabrication have enabled architects to create complex forms and geometries that were once unimaginable. With the help of computer algorithms and advanced software, architects can optimize designs for functionality, efficiency, and aesthetics. This integration of technology has opened up new creative possibilities in architectural expression.

Adaptive Reuse and Historic Preservation:

Preserving historic buildings and giving them a new lease on life has become a celebrated trend in the last century. Instead of tearing down old structures, architects have embraced adaptive reuse, converting old factories, warehouses, and even churches into modern, functional spaces. This approach not only honors the cultural heritage of a place but also reduces the environmental impact of construction by repurposing existing materials.

In recent years, architects have combined the concepts of skyscrapers and sustainability by introducing vertical forests into urban designs. Buildings adorned with lush greenery on their facades provide benefits such as improved air quality, reduced energy consumption, and enhanced biodiversity. Projects like the Bosco Verticale in Milan have become iconic examples of this harmonious fusion of nature and architecture.

Smart Cities and Intelligent Infrastructure:

The 21st century has witnessed the emergence of smart cities, where architecture integrates with advanced technology to create efficient, interconnected urban environments. Buildings are equipped with sensors and automated systems that optimize energy usage, waste management, and traffic flow. The concept of intelligent infrastructure ensures that cities become more sustainable, resilient, and user-friendly.

The last 100 years have been witness to extraordinary architectural developments that have shaped the way we interact with our environment. From the modernist movement to the rise of sustainable design, architects have continually strived to create spaces that not only meet functional needs but also elevate the human experience. As we move further into the future, it is essential for architects to continue pushing the boundaries and exploring innovative ways to create structures that respond to the ever-evolving needs of society while respecting the planet we call home.

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Androsky Lugo

CEO and Founder Androsky Lugo currently stands as the founding partner for the Framing Futures Architectural Firm (FFAF) in Southern California, since 2019.