A becoming a global phenomenon with futuristic building

A Revolution through
evolution-Neo-Futurism

Life does not exist in the simple
past. And architecture, no matter how far we go to the point in history, has
been always aiming for a better future. The canvas of urban landscape is
painted by strong strokes of revolution and an ever persistent omnipresent,
continuous backdrop of evolution. Evolution literally means, ‘the gradual
development of something. In nature as in architecture, nothing is perfect in
the first trial. Perfection takes time and persistence and as in the words
of Ludwig Meis Van Der Rohe,

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“Architecture is the crystallization
of its inner structure, the slow unfolding of its form with time”. On the other hand, revolution means rebellion, mutiny, overthrowing
of the existing law, but in architectural context it means a certain creation
or invention which single handedly transforms the existing regime or order of
doing work.

 

The revolutionary technologies and
evolution of building techniques and materials are the pillars on which ‘space
age ‘architecture stands. Space age, Neo-modern and Neo-futuristic are synonyms
and mark the architectural advancements of the last half century. Neo-futurism is
a late 20th–early 21st century movement in the arts, design, and architecture.
It is a departure from the cynical attitude of post-modernism and represents an
idealistic belief in a better future and “a need to periodize the modern
relationship with the technological”. Neo-futuristic urbanists, architects,
designers and artists believe in cities releasing emotions, driven by
eco-sustainability, ethical values and implementing new materials and new
technologies to provide a better quality of life for present and future
generations.

Neo-futurism is fast becoming a
global phenomenon with futuristic building springing up in Europe, America and
several parts of Asia like Japan, Singapore, and Malaysia etc. Neo-modernism,
as opposed to post-modernism is a futuristic uprising in its true sense.
It does not believe in reviving the past. In Corbusier’s words, “a building
is perceived as a machine for the living”. But neo-futuristic buildings
aims at giving buildings more humanistic characteristic, in essence of which a
building may be given the most organic of forms, repel the most severe forces
of nature and provide safe and sound spaces for the society to thrive.

The space age architecture has four
key features namely, superior building material, modern engineering and
construction techniques, computer modelling and prefabrication. These
techniques have been evolving over time and together they have given structures
the fluidity of human imagination and   the power to actualize them.
Evolution and revolution are the two sides of the same coin and as we know
revolution comes in many forms and contexts. One such example is the structure
of Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects in Baku. Baku is the
capital city of Azerbaijan, which is located between Iran, Turkey and Russia
and was one of the most conflict ridden areas in the world. It has been the
beacon of war and conflict for many decades due to its oil reserves. In 1991
after the fall of The Soviet Union, it gained its political independence and
after which people were very driven to overthrow and replace the existing
regime of architecture by creating over fifty neo-futuristic buildings, over
the next fifteen years. “The structures were imposed on us by outside powers
and we were never in the driving seat in our pasts. Now we have a sense of
confidence and we want to create a city that is ours”, said Tahir Gozel,
developer of the project. By mimicking the calligraphical bends of the Arabic
language and pouring them into the emerging pop culture milieu of Baku, Heydar
Aliyev is an explosion of curves and organic shapes or should we say rebellion
and freedom. This structure would not have been possible without the carefully
engineered space frames which are made out of tube steel and then covered by
pre-fabricated panels. The most exquisite thing about this cultural Centre is
that it has three divergent building types i.e. a museum, a library and an
auditorium all wrapped together in one structure. This creates an arduous
challenge of insulating the auditorium which is overcome by keeping the
auditorium inside twenty five inch walls of concrete and a hundred and thirty
thousand sq. feet layer of rock wool insulation i.e. a box in the box
construction.