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Top 7 Architectural Trends of 2015

Even though it's still '15, architects from all corners of the world are kicking off the future of design, setting fresh trends that could inspire the next wave of domestic developments. From office towers that breathe (seriously) to staircases that need a "double-take," here are seven super-cool architectural trends from 2015.

 

1. Buildings that blend into their natural surroundings

Where: Stockholm

By who: Bjarke Ingels

Located next to Gardet National Park in Stockholm, Sweden, Scandinavian starchitect Bjarke Ingels' 79 & Park uses glass, cedar wood and actual foliage to blend in with the park's own greenery. The building's stepped design allows for lots of outdoor rooftop space for people to enjoy. 

2. Hidden staircases

Where: London

By who: Craft Design 

No matter how functional, staircases can be total eyesores, disrupting a space's flow and aesthetics. But this loft manages to incorporate the staircase into its attractive layout, which could inspire developers in 2016.

3. Strategic designs to enhance privacy

Where: Vancouver

By who: McFarlane Biggar

This series of three homes is known as "Houses at 1340" and looks like a glass waterfall due to their linear descent. The strategic placement allows for the more private rooms to face the forests while the more public rooms face the city's skyline. Each house also features a rooftop patio designed not to disturb the house next door. 

4. Constructing with bamboo

Where: Beijing 

By who: Penda

Named "The Rising Canes," this pavilion is made entirely of bamboo canes—200 to be precise—and was made to be a possible template for modular housing. It was featured at Beijing's Design Week. 

5. Breathing office towers

Where: Pittsburgh

By who: PNC

This office tower actually breathes. Although maybe it's not alive per se, it still moves air in and out without using energy. The sustainable building features a double-layer facade and windows that automatically open based on temperature. 

6. Sustainable luxury hotels

Where: The Maldives

By who: Yuji Yamakazi Architecture

Earlier this year, Finolhu Villas in the Maldives was completed, becoming the island's first totally solar-powered five star resort. The 52 villas each feature special windows and wooden shade screens to compensate for air-conditioning (which is much-needed on a tropical island.)

7. Portable floating vacation homes

Where: Technically any body of water

By who: Friday

Dubbed "Floatwing," this floating home is portable due to two outboard motors that can go up to 3.5 mph. The modular vacation home has a fixed width of 20 feet and can contain up to three bedrooms. Despite having a wine cellar, the home is also self-sustaining, meaning it won't disturb the aquatic environment below it.