Traditional Architecture versus Modern Architecture


Traditional architecture is a dynamic concept that has changed over the years addressing the many existing issues of housing in our society. It is the way of building a house using recognizable symbols of a particular culture of unique people in a special way. Thus, many people have fallen in love with traditional buildings owing to their special character, location, and history.

Why Traditional Architecture?

Still, vernacular architecture is a term that is used to group the various ways of building a house that uses locally available resources and materials to address the needs of the people. The use of local materials in construction will eventually reduce building costs, making traditional architecture an economical advantage option.

But that notwithstanding, traditional architecture requires a high level of ethical commitment to the local people, their locations, cultures, and traditions. Fortunately, people have found out over the years the various ways to deal with extreme weather conditions. But, the influence of Western culture and the need to build an internationally acceptable construction style have led to a reduction in traditional building solutions.

Logically speaking, the new generation of inhabitants looks for an increased level of comfort in their houses and such standards can only be met by using modern machinery which has substantial initial costs and higher energy demand. However, with careful use of traditional solutions, it is possible to reduce energy needs drastically and use enough architectural style to build a more pleasant home.

Building designers can use modern materials, innovative construction techniques, and technology to increase the profitability and efficiency of traditional buildings. Apart from this, overlooking our architectural heritage and wisdom of the past translates to neglecting the unavoidable challenge for higher energy efficiency required in this generation.

Traditional Architecture

Modern Architecture

Architecture must represent the way we live now rather than the way we lived a hundred years ago.   

Modern architecture became popular in the late 19th century following revolutions from technology, building materials, and engineering as well as the desire to abandon the traditional architectural styles and invent something that is new and functional. Mechanization and internationalization have led to the rejection of traditional architecture and inadequate understanding of physics of construction deprive the building the fundamental skill and left it at the mercy of the climate.

Modern buildings have air conditioners that are now replacing natural cooling options, taking higher energy consumption, and a reduction in cost for construction companies.

Modern Architecture

Comparative Relationship between Traditional Architecture and Modern Architecture

Modern and traditional architecture can definitely coexist but to what extent do you agree to this fact? Take a look at the following similarities and differences.  

  • In the modern architecture of today, there are many materials that the architect can use to create different effects on a building.
  • For many years now, modern architecture has become a dominant structure for both institutions and corporate buildings even to this day.
  • Architectures of this type show functionalism and sensibility in its structure.
  • Generally, modern architectural design is simple, serious, and has minimal accessories.
  • The modern design has the following characteristics including angular frames, upholstery, artwork, and low profiles, abstract and geometric patterns in textiles.
  • Natural materials are mostly used including teak wood, linen, leather; while the lines are straight. The furniture is usually raised from the floor with legs to have an airy and open atmosphere.
  • The colors used in modern architecture are neutral shades that have a combination of other colors. The walls are generally painted with cream and white colors, but the floor is made of cement or bare wood.
  • Sculptures and paintings form an important part of modern design.
  • Traditional architecture is mainly classified as historical houses that features many character and culture embedded to them to give them a unique appearance.
  • In some locations where there is a scarcity of building materials, natural materials such as bamboo, thatch or sticks, mud, or grass are used for construction, instead of sending materials from a distant place.
  • One of the major advantages traditional architecture has over its modern type is that the construction materials are very cheap, affordable and easily available, requiring relatively little labor.
  • Traditional buildings are more costly to build than modern homes, thus making them the most durable buildings.
  • Modern architecture has a simple structure that makes its construction easy so that it can be finished in time. As a result of this, the modern architecture makes it possible to meet the increasing large demands of new homes these days.
  • Buildings with traditional sense are a nice way to put the past history in memory and showcase ancient scenes. Therefore, some new buildings are important to be built in traditional styles.
  • Modern architecture usually uses steel infrastructure for its construction, where the interior columns bear most of the load.

Now, constructing your building in a modern way is an important way of sustaining the ecosystem. It is obvious that the job of the modern architect is invariably difficult than the traditional architect. Besides, the demands of modern life introduced a lot of new things and considerations into the design of a building more than the usual

As technology advances and life’s demand becomes more complicated, the priorities of the architect in the design of a house will definitely be altered; machines will become more useful in the creation of comfort, which will change your general feeling of thermal comfort level for each of the architecture type.


In contrast to traditional architecture, the most modern architecture uses energy materials that are relatively cheap and affordable to produce and transport in this season when energy is cheap. But the truth is that traditional architecture uses both lower embodied energy materials than modern architecture.

Still, traditional architecture is highly durable than its modern counterpart. But both of them can co-exist with modern architecture dealing with transformation and change in the present as well as tries to fix it into the buildings. This makes it change with time.

However, the tools, strategies, and materials available to modern architecture are more when compared to traditional architecture. More so, the modern architect has more advantage of acquired knowledge but their union can help both parties derive optimum energy efficiency.

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