Essay 388 – In the past, buildings often reflected the culture of a society

GT Writing Task 2 / Essay Sample # 388

You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.

Write about the following topic:

In the past, buildings often reflected the culture of a society, but today, all modern buildings look the same, and cities throughout the world are becoming more and more similar.

What do you think is the reason for this?
Is it a positive or a negative development?

Give reasons for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.

Write at least 250 words.

Model Answer:

The modern world witnesses a growing homogeneity in architectural styles, as modern buildings across different cities tend to resemble each other. This essay aims to explore the reasons behind this trend and argues that it is a positive development.

One possible reason for the increasing similarity in modern buildings is the globalisation of architectural trends. With the advancement of technology and ease of communication, architectural ideas and designs are now easily shared and disseminated across the globe. Architects and developers often draw inspiration from successful designs in other parts of the world, leading to the replication of certain styles and features. For example, the prevalence of glass facades and steel structures in contemporary skyscrapers can be observed in major cities like Dubai, New York, and Singapore, highlighting the global influence on architectural choices.

Another factor contributing to the uniformity of modern buildings is the influence of multinational corporations. As large corporations expand their operations internationally, they often construct headquarters and office buildings that adhere to a standardised corporate aesthetic. This results in the proliferation of similar-looking structures in different cities worldwide. For instance, multinational companies like Apple and Google have built sleek, minimalist campuses that mirror their brand identities, leading to a sense of sameness in architectural design.

While the increasing similarity in modern buildings may be viewed as a negative development by many, there are many positive aspects to consider. The adoption of certain architectural styles and techniques from different cultures can promote cultural exchange and appreciation. For example, the incorporation of traditional elements from various regions into contemporary building designs can serve as a means of preserving cultural heritage and fostering a sense of identity. Moreover, the use of sustainable and energy-efficient building practices, which have become more prevalent globally, contributes to a positive environmental impact.

In conclusion, the growing similarity in modern buildings can be attributed to the globalisation of architectural trends and the influence of multinational corporations. While some may perceive this development negatively, it has significant positive aspects as it provides opportunities for cultural exchange and sustainable practices.

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