Tropical Modernism
PALACE Magazine|Issue 25
Tropical Modernism
How architects are devising building architecture to reap the benefits that the sunny, humid environment throws at them.

Having evolved beyond its modernist roots, contemporary tropical architecture offers timeless design solutions that work effectively within their context.

When first emerged as a style in the early 1930s, Modernism quickly came to define a functional approach of creating pure and clean forms of design that followed a certain aesthetic. As the style spread all over the world, however, its adaptability gave rise to a new way of making architecture, receptive to specific cultural traditions and climatic conditions and combining contemporary forms with locally responsive design considerations, appropriate to their context.

Today, Tropical Modernism is a version that evolved from its mid-century beginnings. Softened and adapted to the tropical conditions, with local materials and techniques better suited to their environment, Tropical Modernism is now sometimes a style, sometimes a term applied liberally across architecture that carries the elements of modernism. It takes cues from its locality and integrates sustainable and passive design elements, often borrowed from local, indigenous architectural forms.

Enduring Designs

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Issue 25