Happy New Year, we are barely two months in the New Year and I have dived right in to the groove of things. New things often bring new promise and hope, all in all It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Zambian construction industry. Clients are bolder and more daring with the homes they want to construct, invest in and ultimately live in. We may still have a long way to go but the promise of baby steps is more than enough to get me excited about things to come in the future.
Thinking about this made me come up with a list of my five (5) favourite architectural trends on the Zambian market right now.
Fashion comes and fashion goes, well only the really timeless memorable pieces. Like clothing trends some of these elements of architectural preference are nothing new to the Zambian Environment. Even though they come back better and more refined they are basically fashioned from something that was once widely popular.
Please note that this is not a list about technicalities or specifications but merely a brush through of what is happening here and now.
1. NATURAL STONE & BURNT BRICK
I have always loved natural stone; I vividly remember leaving in a house. Right now natural stone comes in many shapes, sizes and shades. It is mostly used on the exterior surface but it also h dings. Natural stone has fast become one of the most commonly used material on new building on both domestic and commercial building.
Like natural stone, applications of Burnt brick are many, it comes in various sizes, textures and colours. It is super durable plus it has a clean finish if applied right. I have grown to love the feel and look of it over the years which makes it convenient abuse now it is readily available. Other prefer to kiln their own bricks, this gives off this rustic finish, on the other hand Factory manufactured bricks can also be found, in contrast these give a crisp clean finish unless otherwise intended. Brick can be used both as a finish or for structual purposes.
2. FLAT ROOFS
Flat roofs are the latest craze, with all the installation issues and long term maintenance problems you’d think people would stay clear of them in our given climate but no. I heard someone once refer to it as a parapet roof, naturally it made me smile. It is understandable they are neat polished in appearance modernistic and apparently cheaper to construct. I don’t know about that last part, because running costs may prove more pricey in terms of maintenance in the long run.
3. MONOPITCH ROOF
Their is something I find enticing about being able to see the roof of a well designed building. It draws me in. Admittedly I am only just warming up to the whole flat roof concept, with a parapet wall. A monopitch roof offers a cheaper roof solution as compared to the hip roof but still offering good water runoff and none of the issues that flat roofs might offer.
4. LARGE WINDOWS
Large windows are everything. They look great plus the bring in more light and ventilation especially if orientation of the house has been done right. Large windows also have the effect of making spaces feel bigger, connecting the inside to the outside plus they just look nice.
5. CONCRETE FORMS
This includes large columns beams or any concrete formwork used to give character to the house. These elements can be structural or non structural, they are usually enhanced by cladding the walls with brick, natural stone or varied shades of paint in contrast to the rest of the building.
Let me know what your thoughts are and what you favourite trends are.Do feel free to comment like or/and share. Thanks for reading. Zikomo