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Architecture trends
Marraum Architects12-Dec-2019 16:00:002 min read


As we’re about to embark on a brand new year, we thought we’d share some of the key trends in modern architecture that we can all expect to see a lot more of in 2020.

1. Virtual Reality in design

Using Virtual Reality to design extensions and new builds is a growing trend because of the way it allows clients (and planning committees!) to step into a space and truly understand it before it’s built. TV shows like the BBC’s Your Home Made Perfect have brought this technology to a wider audience who now understand that it gives them a new capability to make truly informed decisions about their new home. We use Virtual Reality on every project we design and we’ve seen how it mitigates expensive changes needing to be made further into the construction process.


2. Environmental awareness with sustainable architecture

As well as using renewable materials in new and inventive ways, architects are also starting to ditch concrete. Why? Because the 4 billion tonnes of cement produced each year accounts for a whopping 8 per cent of total global carbon dioxide emissions.

At the 2019 Architecture of Emergency climate summit in London architects were urged to overhaul their industry. Strong materials like cross-laminated timber are leading the charge in a radical rethink of the way we construct our homes.


3. Small, but perfectly formed

Constraints of space and a desire to live with less stuff is also engendering a trend for small scale homes that fit perfectly into their surroundings and work as beautiful boltholes for modern living. Carefully curated views and an influx of natural light make teeny homes like Pocket House in London shine – this one was even shortlisted for RIBA House of the Year. This modern architecture trend has also become a social movement — a bastion of minimalism, affordability and efficiency. Find out more about the Tiny House movement.


4. Passivhaus

Using available resources and maximising energy efficiency are the key principles of the passive house concept. The heat loss of a passive house is reduced so that it can achieve a 75% reduction in heating need. Born in Germany, it’s a very thorough and exacting design process.

Concern for the environment has seen demand for low-energy considerations in design shoot up and our certified Passivhaus designer Julian is our resident expert. Meet the Marraum team.


5. Purposely unfinished interiors

Industrial design with simple lines, visible brickwork and beams and a large dose of minimalism is still big in modern architecture for 2020.

This is about pared-back living and again ties into the environmental bent of many of these trends. Done properly, it can significantly reduce construction costs.


Sustainable Architects In Cornwall

The wider issue of climate change and a desire to change our behaviour as a species drives many of the current modern architecture trends and we can expect to see this as the driving force behind new shifts in approaches in 2020.

At Marraum, we’re all firmly behind the idea that we should, wherever possible, be mitigating our impact on the planet by considering the resources we use and the way that we live our everyday lives. 

Find out more about how we commit to living more sustainably in our personal lives at 


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