Among the deities in ancient Rome was Janus, the god of portals or doors. He was represented as a two-faced creature, one looking forward into the future, while the other face peered opposite, into the past. January, the month named after this ancient god, begins with us recollecting the previous year, but ends with us forging ahead to meet the challenges of the new year.

Believe it or not, the two-faced god has something to do with modern architecture! Among the more persistent trends in design, particularly with regard to structures of civic, religious, or cultural importance, is what I call the "Janus building." Many such structures are designed to project an image that looks to the heritage and traditions of a particular city, congregation, or group. At the same time, a vast array of new technologies - whether related to construction materials, environmental systems, communications or audio/visual systems, or many others - are futuristic, looking in the opposite direction of the public image the building presents. In general terms, they project the past on the exterior, and propel the future within. Look at the projects on our website to see these trends executed and let us know what you think!

 

-Greg Turner