New housing trends

Housing in Greek cities is starting to reach saturation point. Following the return to democratic rule in 1974, areas outside the city plan were settled in ways that squandered environmental resources. Contemporary architecture followed that pattern, attempting to provide decent solutions. Looking at trends that are sporadically emerging, one may observe a more productive and radical approach to architecture today with a social and environmental orientation. A new generation of architects is refurbishing the aging shells of buildings and apartment blocks. Living spaces for straight and gay couples, single-parent families, artists and people who lead alternative lifestyles are creating new cultures for urban life apartments, and workspaces are being renovated and in interesting new styles. A new parasitic architecture is secretly changing the city from the inside out. Fresh touch A new approach to rural houses is timidly appearing, mainly in university research, which is undermining the suburban and exurban housing model. It goes from the concept of the luxury house through research into modern housing methods to design examples of urban nomadism, using light, imaginative, temporary structures. If it gets beyond the research phase it will certainly challenge traditional housing with structures that are movable and less costly for the land and residents. Residential architecture must take energy and environmental concerns into account. Form will then follow environmental function. Environmental architecture will only be effective when it goes beyond technological gadgets and proposes new residential models. Zisis Kotionis is an architect and teaches at Thessaly University.

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