6 Architecture Design Trends for 2022

Architectural trends are ever changing, with materials, techniques and building resources continuing to evolve year after year. In the age of social media, the general public are exposed to an abundance of architectural inspiration on a daily basis and are increasingly likely to embark upon ‘trendy’ development projects, whether that be independently or with the help of an architect. 

After a challenging year or two for the architectural industry, it is anticipated that 2022 will see substantial re-growth within the field. Changes in both material resources and labour availability require projects to adapt more efficient approaches which are likely to be reflected in the architectural trends that emerge over this time. 

In this blog from NORclad we look into 6 of the biggest architecture trends to look out for in 2022. 

See more: Commercial Architecture – How to Design Commercial Buildings

Exposed Steel Structures 

Across the architectural design industry, a selection of new and innovative material palettes are emerging and making an impact on architecture trends. A particularly prominent arrival is exposed steel. Steel is a highly efficient design material, not only due to its time and cost-effective properties but also its ductile nature. The flexibility of steel is ideal for more experimental or expressive design work – really allowing architects to incorporate more creative shapes within structural design. Particularly popular realisations of this trend include exposed steel beams. Many architectural blogs discuss how the ‘industrial-chic’ style offered by steel assets creates a modern yet unique feel within a space. This trend is especially popular within commercial spaces such as restaurants, bars and offices – offering a more stripped back, ‘edgy’ feel to a space. 

Glass Blocks 

Originating in 1977, the ‘glass blocks’ or ‘glass bricks’ trend gained popularity within residential and restaurant design projects. Boasting simultaneous privacy and translucence, this visually interesting, highly structured feature continued to gain popularity for many years. More recently, projects featuring glass brick features have been easily tied to outdated 80’s styles until innovative new architects changed the fate of this design feature, incorporating it into more modern ‘industrial-chic’ design projects such as unique restaurants and bathrooms. Many architects believe that 2022 will mark a new life for the glass brick trend!

Bringing the Outdoors In

The popularity of the indoor/outdoor trend has been accelerating rapidly in recent years, even securing a feature in a previous trends blog, ‘Trends in Architecture and Construction 2020’

Sub categories of this trend include making maximal use of rooftop spaces by transforming them into gardens, creating outdoor ‘summer kitchens’ and indoor/outdoor bathrooms fitted with bright full-length windows. One of the primary effects generated through the use of indoor/outdoor architectural design is that of a luxury ‘al-fresco’ feel, that maximises the ability of its users to enjoy summer weather. Conversely, full enjoyment of this trend is limited to fair weather months and therefore may be more suited to those living in warmer climates. Indoor/outdoor design projects often utilise ‘earthy’ and ‘natural’ tones within their colour palettes, with timber cladding offering ideally suited opportunities for architects working within this style. 

See more: Inside Outside Architecture – How to Leverage This Trending Design Style

Chantry Atrium Light

‘Green’ Buildings 

In the wake of the ever-developing climate crisis, many architects choose to incorporate environmentally conscious choices into their designs. From this, ‘green’ or ‘sustainable’ architecture has evolved into its own subcategory over recent years. Sustainable architecture aims to reduce the negative environmental impact of buildings by maximising energy efficiency and moderating the use of materials. As the world wakes up to the urgency of the climate change emergency – efforts such as this have acquired well established status within architectural trends and will continue to do so over coming years. 

Key principles of green architecture include:

  • Energy efficiency and renewable energy 
  • Water efficiency 
  • More environmentally friendly materials 
  • Waste reduction 

Timber cladding offers architects the perfect sustainable building material for projects in 2022 and beyond. With numerous health benefits and positive effects on the environment, timber has been and continues to be an extremely popular eco-friendly building material.

Find out more about the environmental qualities of timber cladding.

See more: A Beginner’s Guide to Sustainable Construction


Initially emerging in the 1920’s, minimalist architecture has become a staple architectural trend. This style of architectural design continues to cement its popularity year after year. As many architectural design projects move away from concrete frames and bulky brick structures, the more simplified approach offered by minimalism adheres to a more effortless aesthetic that reverts back to the most basic architectural principles.

Within many architectural developments, the minimalist trend is executed with help from materials such as timber cladding. Timber allows for an effective yet subtle contrast to bright whites and neutral tones characteristic of minimalist design and has emerged as a trend within coastal minimalist architecture – with the incorporation of more ‘earthy’ tones working well amongst natural surroundings. Find out more about how timber cladding weathers and suits coastal climates.

Multi-Functional Homes

Amid the stay-at-home order issued during the COVID-19 pandemic, many architects turned their hand to creating multi-functional living spaces. Homeowners found themselves finding new purposes for their existing space and discussion around multifunctionality in homes became more prevalent within the architectural community. From this, an architectural niche centred around accommodating the work-from-home lifestyle emerged – which is now gaining rapid momentum.

The previous popularity of open floor plans is set to decrease within designs of this type, while sound proofing and other privacy enhancing design features are set to acquire greater popularity. In a world so reliant on remote working, multifunctional surfaces and ‘zoom-ready’ acoustics are also set to become prominent features. Garden buildings especially have risen in popularity for home working purposes.

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For more information about how our team of timber cladding experts can bring your architectural vision to life, get in touch. Our helpful employees are on hand to offer the highest quality guidance that is tailored to your development vision. 

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2022-01-05T09:18:24+00:00September 14th, 2021|

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