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Nestled next to the stunning Wasatch Mountain Range, Salt Lake City, Utah, is a unique city in terms of history, economic growth, and architectural gems. It was founded in 1847 by a religious pioneering group known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The founders were industrious and creative, constructing some of the lasting and iconic buildings still in the city today, such as the Tabernacle on Temple Square (1867) and the Salt Lake City Temple (1893). The State Capitol (1916) and the City and County Building (1891) are other permanent and elegant Salt Lake City buildings integral to the city’s heart. A spectacular array of modern and contemporary architecture is alongside historical buildings, such as the Salt Lake City Public Library (2003) and the Rio Tinto Center (2011).

What You Should Know About Architecture Styles in Salt Lake City

Like other cities, Salt Lake City architecture has gone through a series of different period styles throughout its history. The city has a unique landscape composed of many architectural styles, the most prominent including:

  • Georgian
  • Greek Revival
  • Victorian
  • Period Revival
  • Early and Post-War Modern

You can find many of the above styles in homes and buildings of historic neighborhoods like The Avenues, Sugarhouse, Capitol Hill, City Creek Canyon, and others. Most recently, however, contemporary architectural styles have been more prominent and influential as buildings are renovated and new contemporary buildings are constructed.

Exterior of District Heights Office Building Architecture in South Jordan, UT | Contemporary Architecture in Utah

What is Contemporary Architecture?

Contemporary architecture is any architecture constructed in the 21st century. Unlike other architectural styles, contemporary architecture has no set parameters or a specific movement. Instead, it reflects the building trends of the time and is inspired by different design aspects of past styles and movements. Though the features and styles vary, contemporary architecture focuses on connecting the indoors to the outdoors, and many contemporary designs are spacious and open. Lastly, though many modern architectural elements may be used in contemporary design, the two are not synonymous.

What to Look for in Contemporary Architecture

Contemporary architectural designers can access many design tools, technology, and materials that were previously unused. With these design tools and talent, they create wholly new styles of architecture and modern takes on classic designs. Though there are no specific qualifications for a building to be contemporary, many contemporary architectural designs include the following elements:

  • Open floor plans
  • Natural lighting
  • Large windows
  • Asymmetry
  • Minimal

They also tie to the natural environment through using natural components, recycled and unconventional materials, and an emphasis on sustainability and incorporating the surrounding environment.

Element31 Lobby Leasing Office Exterior | Element 31 Mixed-Use Apartment Building Design | Think Architecture

Contemporary Buildings in SLC

You can see examples of contemporary buildings in Salt Lake City in commercial, residential, and public works buildings. Element 31 at Brickyard in Salt Lake City is a stunning and successful mixed-use architectural design that turned an old brickyard into multi-family housing that improves the quality of life for residents and the surrounding community.

Contemporary residential buildings include renovated Greek Revival and Post-War Modern homes and new builds, such as modern farmhouses and the Grand View, championing open floor plans, lots of light, extended outdoor living space, and natural components.

Contemporary commercial buildings found throughout Salt Lake Valley and Park City area, like the Skullcandy office building, Murray Fire Station 81, District Heights Office Building, South Davis Cultural Arts Center, and others, promote environmentally friendly building design and operation with natural lighting, xeriscaping, and other contemporary elements.

Utah Tech Company Headquarters Design | Contemporary Architecture near Salt Lake City

How to Choose the Best Contemporary Architect for Your Needs

Think Architecture is at the forefront of contemporary and modern design in Utah. With award-winning architecture, years of design experience, and creative and forward-thinking Salt Lake City architects, you are guaranteed a quality and curated experience from start to finish. For more information on contemporary architecture projects and to get your project started, contact Think Architecture today.