Architectural Styles throughout The Ages

An architectural style is a representation of an art form in a building that makes its features and structures historically identifiable. These features are based on the style of architecture and its various aspects such as materials, form, regional character, etc. Buildings keep on changing over periods of time and architecture continually explores new horizons.

Here are some of the most recognized architectural styles that have been applied in many structures around the globe. You may identify some of these styles through your travels. See how many you recognize.

Greek and Roman Classical Architecture refer to the style that is often expressed by a temple, an oblong enclosure, or is surrounded by columns. The Greek order of columns, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, are some of the more identifiable elements of classical architecture. (The Acropolis in Greece and the Colosseum in Italy).

Gothic Architecture began in France and was then adapted throughout Europe. It dominated the continent for hundreds of years. This is a style of stonework/masonry building that is characterized by three main features: sharply pointed arches, ribbed and vaulted columns, and flying buttresses. (Notre-Dame in France and Canterbury Cathedral in England).

Baroque architecture originated in Italy and is a more emotional and dramatic style designed to appeal to the senses. Baroque architecture usually includes curving forms such as ovals, as well as concave and convex forms that suggest motion. Distortion is also another key aspect in this style where you will see figures that are broken, elongated, or manipulated to make them stand out.  (The Palace of Versailles in France and St. Peter’s Square in Vatican, Italy). 

Neoclassical Architecture is the revival of Classical architecture. The style is similar to the Greek and Roman forms. This resulted in 18th-century buildings somewhat resembling Greek and Roman temples. Neoclassical architecture is defined by clean, elegant lines, an uncluttered appearance, free-standing columns, and massive buildings. (The White House in the USA and the Bank of England Building in England).

Victorian Architecture is a style of architecture that refers to buildings that were constructed during the reign of England’s Queen Victoria.  Victorian architecture is not limited to a single particular design but is used as a broad term that saw the revival of Gothic, Romanesque, and Tudor elements. The Victorian-style was applied to residential house designs during the industrial revolution. One characteristic that most Victorian homes share is the “dollhouse” look having elaborate trims, vivid colors, and asymmetrical designs. (The Balmoral Castle in Scotland and Postcard Row in San Francisco, CA, USA).

Modern Architecture is an umbrella term that encompasses several different styles that became prominent during the first half of the 20th century. It is a minimalist style that was practiced by many architects until after World War 2.  The modernist style prioritizes simplicity of form, clean structure, lack of ornamentation, and function over form. This style also takes advantage of the advances in steel, glass, and concrete. (Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater house in the USA and Ludwig Mies van de Rohe’s Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin).

Post Modern Architecture is a reaction to the austerity and rigidity promoted by Modern architecture. The Post-Modernist architects launched this design movement in the 1960s. These designs incorporated artistic ornamentation and decorative elements into the building’s façade as opposed to just the clean lines upheld by modernist styles. The Post-modernist style drew inspiration from a mix of architectural styles and this combination often resulted in a somewhat hybrid and whimsical design. (The Vanna Venturi House in Pennsylvania, USA, and the Guggenheim Museum in Spain).

Neo-futurist Architecture Neo-futurism is an architectural style that is seen as a more idealistic approach to the future. The designs increasingly take advantage of new technologies; their goal is to build seemingly impossible forms and innovative structures that have never been built before. Neo-futurist architecture is identified with structures that seem to defy natural physics and were only previously seen in science fiction movies. (The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Stadium in Japan and the Riverside Museum in Scotland).

When building your particular project, it is useful to have some background about these different architectural styles. These amazing design elements can serve as an inspiration and can help you determine the most suitable design direction for your project. Consult with our top-notch Architects to achieve the design you’ve always dreamed of.

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