CallisonRTKL unveils trends in architecture, design, technology for 2021

CallisonRTKL unveils key trends for built environment

Industry experts from CallisonRTKL, CRTKL, a global consultancy specialised in architecture, design and technology, has unveiled key trends which will advance the built environment in 2021. Taking into account new industry regulations and social distancing guidelines, a large emphasis of the year will be focused on re-envisioning spaces leveraging experienced master planning to effectively manage spaces better.

Meeting smart city and sustainability goals continues to be key as building operators in the Middle East continue to work towards meeting the objectives set by the region’s visionary leadership as well as creating happier and liveable urban communities. Innovation and technology adoption are key factors in helping to drive this.

CallisonRTKL unveils key trends for built environment.
CallisonRTKL unveils key trends for built environment.


In 2021, CallisonRTKL expects for the GCC residential market to move away from the apartment to the villa, as more and more individuals are looking to have more space when working from home.

Mixed Use 

Mixed use developments will continue to act as drivers of community and economic vitality in 2021. Their use will continue to be popular among communities looking to re-engage and re-connect, following the conclusion of the pandemic.


With $5.5 trillion potentially being wiped off the global hospitality sector, wellness will become an integral aspect of the global hospitality sector. Hospitality design will reflect that through becoming more flexible and community orientated. As global audiences around the world look forward to travelling post pandemic, hospitality is due to be shaken-up in 2021.


The pandemic has altered our attitude towards healthcare. Individual and collective health has now come to be recognised in the context of an economy’s health. Healthcare will be a durable sector for investment, with telemedicine and behavioural health being central areas of focus for future development.


Workplace design will radically change following the levels of technological integration which have been catalysed by the pandemic. The integration of data, of personal devices into the workplace, and of continued focuses on wellness will foster new opportunities for the future workplace.


While cultural institutions at a regional and global level have struggled during the Covid-19 pandemic, the re-opening of borders following the pandemic offer new avenues of growth for artistic spaces in 2021. During this time, museums, art galleries, and performance spaces can reimagine the design of cultural space in line with shifting visitor expectations and behaviour.


Sustainability will continue to be a core concern in development and design in 2021. With the growth of net-zero development as a core aspect of building design, construction will have to further incorporate new sustainable practices into its ongoing operations. 

CallisonRTKL unveils key trends for built environment
CallisonRTKL unveils key trends for built environment.

Matthew Tribe, Executive Director at CRTKL said, “This year has been like no other. But in any crisis, opportunities are uncovered. Businesses across the region have demonstrated agility, nimbleness and most importantly, resilience which has helped support the region in becoming one of the most rapid to bounce back for the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s impact on the Middle East on where we work, on how we travel, and on the way we live will be felt across the course of this decade. Over the course of the next year, we expect to see those changes impact how we design the build environment around us.”