35 Architectural Styles: The Great Evolution of Architecture

There are several architectural styles that enhanced the category over time. Having a characteristic of their own, each style has something to giveaway. Read on to learn about them.

Architectural styles

Architecture is a creative branch that has existed since 10,000 BC, and throughout this unimaginably long history, it witnessed numerous changes, which amazed us in several ways. Our minds differ, as do our comfort conditions; therefore, these styles are a medium for architects to shape their beautiful knowledge and fulfil our demands. The professionals go as far as possible to serve present-day problems that cause mental instability. It may sound off-topic or even stupid, but few know that the invention of some of these architectural styles began as an experiment to bring families together when wars erupted around the world. As we continue dealing with several other problems like before, it becomes crucial to reflect on the past and take a cue to either replicate or invent. Today with this article, I am veiling 35 architectural styles each presented with brief introduction.

Before we go ahead with this article, Let me tell you that all the information comes from historical architectural books and government sources. So what are we waiting for, let us get started.

Table of Contents

35 Architectural Styles You Should Know About.

1. Contemporary Architecture.

An orange palette Contemporary Architecture building in Morocco

Contemporary architecture is the present style that uses modern elements and together forms a single structure. The defining characteristic of contemporary architecture is its refusal to follow tradition and insistence on being unconventional. Few of its traits possess curved lines, rounded forms, unconventional volumes, open floor plans and green roofs or living walls.

A precise definition is still not found, but one can differentiate a building that follows this style.

When Did It Start?

Contemporary architecture dates back to the second half of the 20th century.

Why Did It Start?

After World War II, when global collaboration increased exponentially, contemporary architecture originated as one of the art forms to create structures integral to environments and value the sense of placelessness. Furthermore, it emphasizes sustainability, using recycled and natural materials, and the eco-conscious water and temperature control systems seamlessly incorporated into the architecture.

2. Victorian Architecture.

Victorian Architectural Style of Palace of Westminster, London, United Kingdom

Victorian architecture is a common term used for the architectural styles that emerged between 1830 and 1910: during the reign of Queen Victoria. These architectural styles include Gothic revival, Queen Anne, Italianate, Romanesque, Second Empire, and stick and shingle designs.

The features of the Victorian architecture styles that serve as identification are multi-storey (commonly two or three), Church or Cathedral finials, maximalist design and a small garden.

When Did It Start?

Even though the reign of Queen Victoria started in 1837, the earliest traces of Victorian architectural style emerged as early as 1830 or before.

Why Did It Start?

The Victorian era accounted for a substantial increase in wealth, followed by the second industrial revolution, through which the middle-class population expanded. The architectural style worked as a solution to accommodate people from different regional and economic backgrounds.

3. Classical Architecture.

Classical Architecture of Roman Temple Maison Carree

Classical architecture is the architectural style of ancient Greek and Rome. It can have features; such as a pediment, column, and rectangular window and uses heavy materials like bricks, marble and concrete.

When Did It Start?

The classical architectural period dates back to the 5th century BCE in Greece and the 3rd century BC in Rome.

Why Did It Start?

The current movement of classical architecture is a result of the Italian Renaissance, during which architects worked to restore classical Roman architecture, while the excavations in Pompeii (1738) promoted Greek architecture.

4. Vernacular Architecture.

An artisan workshop following Vernacular architectural stylev

Vernacular architecture is a style that uses local knowledge and materials to construct housing that is useful to the population of an area. It typically omits the use of professional architects.

Vernacular architecture is distinct in every location and can follow the cultural values of that area. It is also a technique that tends to evolve (faster than other styles) as builders learn from their experiences.

When Did It Start?

The earliest trace of Vernacular architecture belongs to the 17th century, while the term was first used in 1857 by Sir George Gilbert Scott.

Why Did It Start?

According to Rubenilson Brazão Teixeira, every vernacular architecture is traditional in the way it originates from specific ethnic groups and is a result of a long process over time, always based on familiar forms established by previous generations.

One of the other reasons may also include the home conditions that architects found necessary for a region following which the architectural style started.

5. Modern Architectural Styles.

A Glass house following modern architectural style located near a garden with several old tress

Modern architecture is an architectural design that uses a functional approach to buildings, uses newer materials (often) and eliminates the dependency upon older techniques like Victorian architecture.

A simple, open layout, increased comfort, minimalistic patterns or lines, and windows or glass panels are characteristic features.

Through modern architecture, architects were able to construct taller buildings, now called skyscrapers.

When Did It Start?

Modern architecture began in the 20th century and gained immense popularity after World War I.

Why Did It Start?

It is one of the architectural styles appointed after the global collaboration increased after World War I. Architects used it extensively to provide housing to the increasing urban population, create innovative structures, provide comfort across every economic zone, and promote social awareness of housing.

6. Gothic Architectural Styles.

Gothic Architectural Style of Chartres Cathedral in France

Gothic architecture (pointed architecture) style is a distinguished type of masonry building with cavernous (cave-like) spaces, a pointed roof for extended height, a flying buttress, and precise use of stained glass windows and tracery to provide the utmost natural light.

It was a part of the Gothic (art) period partly responsible for the flourishing of western and central Europe during the Middle Ages.

Further, the three Gothic architectural styles are Early Gothic, High Gothic and late Gothic.

The early Gothic architecture features a coherent styling of the previously mentioned characteristics.

High Gothic architecture (Rayonnant and Decorated) is an evolved form, mainly found in England, and it features highly decorated geometric patterns on the structures.

Lastly, the late Gothic architectural style (Flamboyant and Perpendicular) evolved even more decorative and exhibited a reduced wall space and a continuous expanse of glass and tracery.

When Did It Start?

Gothic architecture succeeded the Romanesque architect style and commonly existed between the mid-12th-century and 16th century in some parts of Germany.

Precise timeframes for the different gothic architecture types are:

Early Gothic: 1120 to 1200,

High Gothic: 1200 to 1280, and

Late Gothic: 1280 to 1500.

Why Did It Start?

In simpler terms, Gothic Builders revolutionized the building by decreasing the pressure created by the heavier and taller roof on supporting walls. They did it by directing this weight along the ribs of the ceiling, to the flying buttress (a semi-arch) and then down vertical supports (piers) to the ground. They also increased the interior natural light exposure by using windows and tracery.

7. Georgian Architecture.

Georgian architecture of Nostell Priory

Georgian architecture is a design that originated under King Georges I-IV from 1714 to 1830. This architectural style has a pleasing symmetry revived during the Renaissance (Greek and Roman architecture). It introduced classical architecture to smaller spaces, and by the end of its period, it replaced vernacular architecture in almost all middle-class homes and public buildings.

The characteristic features of Georgian architecture are the use of brick or stone, absence of exterior decorations, absolute symmetry, higher ceilings, painted window shutters, multi-storey buildings with a half-storey (for staff), grand entrances, similar-looking windows on each level, etc.

When Did It Start?

As mentioned before, Georgian architecture existed between 1714 to 1830, under the reign of King Georges I to IV.

Why Did It Start?

The architectural style came into existence to provide a sense of space and natural light that was missing in the previous forms.

8. Art Deco Architectural Style.

Pink palette Art deco architecture building infront of pine tree

Art Deco was a short-lived era that inspired fashion, homewares, arts and architecture. Art deco architecture used to appear sleek but not minimal. The influence of creativity among architects and designers made them build relatively simple structures having freshness, elegance, sophistication and wealth.

One of the events responsible for this influence was Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes.

The characteristics of Art Deco architecture are materials such as decorative glass, terracotta, steel, etc., contrasting colours, geometric and fine details, and construction of Parapets and spires.

When Did It Start?

It started in the 1920s in Paris but made its official debut at Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes in 1925.

Why Did It Start?

The purpose of the art deco movement (including architecture) was to infuse functionality with creativity or arts.

9. Renaissance Architectural Styles.

Renaissance Architecture of San Pietro in Montorio in Rome, Italy

Renaissance architecture is a classical style that originated in Italy and superseded Gothic architecture. Responsible for the construction of various treasured monuments, Renaissance architects adopted classical elements to produce modern structures suitable for cities and the new generation.

Note: The people of Renaissance, independent of their métier, were innovators and should not be classified under Successors or Predecessors.

Its characteristics include classical elements like rectangular columns, beams, ashlar masonry, symmetrical notions and a layout that allows light and air.

Renaissance had three different architectural styles- Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, and Mannerism.

The Early Renaissance brought classicism to architecture, followed by the High Renaissance intensifying it, and lastly, Mannerism introduced creativity and decorations to this classicism.

When Did It Start?

Renaissance architectural styles existed for around 200 years, from 1400 to 1600. The specific time frames for different architectural kinds under it are:

Early Renaissance: 1400 onwards,

High Renaissance: 1500 onwards, and

Mannerism: 1520-30 onwards.

Why Did It Start?

Renaissance architects believed Gothic architecture was ‘northern’ that ‘corrupted’ Italian traditions, and to oppose the same, they started reviving classicism while experimenting with modern techniques and creating inventions.

10. Deconstructivism Architectural Styles.

Zaha Hadid Antwerp Port House following deconstructivism

Deconstructivism architecture is a style that uses no norms of architecture and aims to achieve infinite possibilities by playing with forms and volume.

Any architectural style that fuses non-rectilinear shapes and creates a unique structure ordinarily using materials like wood, concrete, steel and masonry is a type of Deconstructivism architecture.

Even though it exists to explore newer concepts, deconstructivism retains functionality to greater heights.

When Did It Start?

Russian constructivists presented the earlier drawings during World War I, but the official reference did not exist before the 1980s when French philosopher Jacques Derrida termed it.

Why Did It Start?

The idea of Deconstructivist architectural styles began with a series of drawings aimed at breaking the classical architectural norms.

The style fuses Russian Constructivism and Modernism while incorporating bits of Post-modernism, expressionism and cubism.

11. Byzantine Architecture.

Byzantine architecture style of Hagia Irene or Aya İrini Kilisesi in Istanbul, Turkey

Byzantine architecture comprises the architectural styles of the Byzantine Empire. It continued Roman traditions while incorporating new features, commonly improved fortification walls and domed churches. Under this architectural style, interiors were more crucial than exteriors, and function was highlighted more than form, with Christianity acting as an influence.

Some of its features include better urban planning with paved pathways, bricks, a much thicker layer of mortar, the use of marble, decorative frames (interiors with fine silk and wall hangings) and a dome over four supporting arches.

Further, in the 6th century, houses were built using wood, mud and stone (by wealthy homeowners).

When Did It Start?

It existed between the 4th century and 15th centuries throughout the Roman empire.

Why Did it Start?

As mentioned before, Byzantine architecture gave importance to Christianity but also valued function over form, which was absent in previous architecture.

12. Brutalist Architecture.

A concrete finish building in Singapore following Brutalist Architecture

Brutalism in architecture is a post-modernist movement that marked the rejection of the eclectic and hedonistic trends; found in contemporary architecture of the 20th-century. It is an expressive yet basic form that comprised several construction projects post-war.

The architect style can be distinguished by its block-like nature, use of concrete or bricks (exposed to naked eyes), a utilitarian feel, small windows and modular elements.

When Did It Start?

One of the early projects that came into notice was Le Corbusier’s work from the late 1940s with the Unité d’Habitation in Marseilles. However, the term came into existence in 1953 when Alison Smithson described one of the projects,

“as the first exponent of the new brutalism”

in England.

Further, in 1955, architectural historian Reyner Banham’s review of Alison and Peter Smithson’s school at Hunstanton in Norfolk established the movement.

Why Did It Start?

As the demand for housing and urban planning increased after the second world war, a socialist ideology solved a significant portion of the problem through low-cost, functional, and simple buildings that we now call Brutalism in architecture.

Besides consuming less time (in construction), they also seemed to evoke emotions in the designers.

13. Neoclassical Architecture.

Neoclassical architecture of Lincoln Memorial

Neoclassicism is a classical architectural style commonly found in buildings of the 18th and early 19th centuries. The movement distinguished itself by a purer adaption of Classical Greek and Roman architecture instead of using only parts like Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

The architect style has features like simplicity (minimum decorations), geometric garden landscapes, flat or domed roofs, tall columns (Doric or Ionic) as support and vast scale.

The style was most prevalent in the United States and Europe, with British architects using it for almost every project in the 1800s.

Neoclassical architecture is of three types- Temple-style buildings, Palladian buildings, and Classical block buildings, each designed for its purpose.

When Did It Start?

The architectural movement started in 1750 in Rome and flourished in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Johann Joachim Winckelmann’s Thoughts on the Imitation of Greek Works in Painting and Sculpture played a crucial role in providing a theory and establishing it.

Why Did It Start?

While the Renaissance and Baroque architecture already showcased the revival of Classical, Roman and Greek architecture, Neoclassicism in architecture aimed to remove Baroque excesses and Rococo ornamentation and introduce Classical architecture at its purest while fulfilling modern demands of living.

Additionally, the discovery of archaeological ruins in Pompeii (late 16th century) and Herculaneum (17th century) inspired architects to study ancient building styles of Rome and Greece and consequently implement them on new projects.

Note: Neoclassicism continues to inspire various buildings of the 21st century, and architects use New Neoclassical Architecture or New Neoclassicism as a term.

14. Gothic Revival Architectural Styles.

Gothic Revival Architectural Style of Sint-Petrus-en-Pauluskerk in Ostend in Belgium

Gothic revival is a term first used in England in the mid-19th century for buildings that contained middle ages style and embraced Neo-Gothic elements. One of the aims of the architectural movement was to compete with Neo-classicism and revive Gothic spirits in architecture, including that in houses and public places.

The structures of this era used to be picturesque and represent heavy romanticism that is said to draw inspiration from literature and paintings. However, the taste essentially developed through the publication of Richard Hurd’s Letters on Chivalry and Romance (1762) and Thomas Percy’s Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (1765).

The architectural movement comprises two phases, the earliest one being an era of conservatism and the other one being the originality of architects (while keeping the values intact).

As a result, it was sometimes hard to distinguish between Gothic and Gothic revival in the early phases, but the common characteristics found in the latter are the use of stone, glass, iron, and steel and intricate details, large windows, pointed arches, verticle lines and buttresses.

When Did It Start?

According to Thomas Wharton, poet and critic, a group of antiquaries began working on the Gothic Revival in the late 17th century. However, it was only in 1730 when the era officially commenced, gained momentum after the 1750s, and towards the end of the 18th century, took on the picturesque objective completely.

The era officially ended in 1930.

Why Did It Start?

Essentially an outcome of the Romantic revolution, the Gothic Revival originated in response to the growing literary interest in medieval times that contained Gothic tales and romanticism. Furthermore, the industrial revolution played a crucial role in promoting it. At the time, a sentiment toward old values developed that inspired many to incorporate Gothic values in their daily life, importantly, architecture.

15. Romanesque Architecture.

Romanesque Architecture of Glees Germany

An architectural style that spread in the non-Byzantine countries and succeeded Roman architecture, Romanesque architecture evolved in the Gothic style in the 12th century and is traditionally referred to as Norman architecture in England.

Essentially it is the fusion of Roman, Carolingian and Ottonian, Byzantine, and local Germanic traditions and is popularly distinguished by semicircular arches, thick walls, small windows, large towers, and simplicity compared to the Gothic period. Furthermore, unlike Roman and Gothic styles, Romanesque architecture (similar to Byzantine architecture) employed walls, or sections of walls called piers, as load-bearing elements.

Architects of that time used bricks, limestone, granite, and flint in various regions in conjunction with a thick-bedded mortar to create a picturesque form (another characteristic) that would also come in handy to contribute to progress and education.

Note: Churches were the most prevalent buildings built under this style.

When Did It Start?

Although there is no definite timeframe for the starting of this architectural movement, critics propose that it ranged from the 6th century to the 11th century. However, the term (coined by Charles de Gerville in the early 19th century) is strictly used from the late 10th century to the 12th century.

Why Did It Start?

Monasticism and Political influence were among the crucial reasons why Romanesque architecture originated.

16. Bauhaus Architectural Style.

A house on street with a scooter parked outside and following Bauhaus architectural styles

In order to recover from the disastrous World War I, Walter Gropius (1883-1969) set up a German school named Staatliches Bauhaus in 1919, an institution that reproduced Bauhaus as an architectural movement carrying similar values.

It was one of the most popular changes in the design world, promoting buildings of both functional and attractive.

Bauhaus architectural styles leveraged asymmetry over symmetry and used modern materials like steel, glass and concrete. Some of the easy-to-spot characteristics of this style are flat roofs, simple colour palettes and smooth facades.

It is also an integral part of history as it was one of the progressive ideas shut down by Nazis labelling the concept un-German. However, it survived only because Walter Gropius and his supporters moved out of Germany and popularized the idea in Western Europe, the United States, Canada and Israel.

In Walter’s words, Bauhaus is,

“the ultimate aim of all artistic activity”

and that

“the ultimate, if distant, aim of the Bauhaus is the unified work of art.”

When Did It Start?

Bauhaus architecture came into existence in 1919 alongside the establishment of the Staatliches Bauhaus school in the city of Weimer and shuttered officially in 1933. Though, after World War II, architects and designers started valuing the philosophies of the movement that made Moholy-Nagy establish the New Bauhaus in Chicago in 1937.

Why Did It Start?

One of the problems that arose due to World War I was the housing crisis; Bauhaus started with an aim to resolve those as well as introduce art and creativity to the world of architecture and design.

17. International Architecture Style.

International Architect Style of Seagram building, Parj Avenue

International architecture arose in the United States and Europe in the early 20th century. These structures closely resembled the modernist theory and are often termed rationalist architecture.

Their characteristics include rectilinear forms that are light, void of decorations, and simple in appearance. These buildings optimally use glass and steel for their purpose, and one may not easily spot the use of concrete.

International architecture is the favourite of Americans as, through it, they were able to construct skyscrapers and use them as a tool to showcase their power and wealth.

When Did It Start?

International architecture came into existence in the 1920s in Western Europe by architects like Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, and Mies van der Rohe. The idea, however, gained popularity in the 1930s in America and the first time the style got a name was in 1932 by Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Philip Johnson in their essay titled The International Style: Architecture Since 1922. Later the essay was featured in a catalogue for an architectural exhibition held at MoMA.

Why Did It Start?

Three of the most crucial factors that contributed to the growth of this style were: the cost-effectiveness of construction, the use of industrial materials like concrete, glass and steel, and the increasing dissatisfaction among architects towards historical buildings with unneeded decorations.

18. Queen Anne Style Architecture.

Queen Anne Style Architecture

Queen Anne Style architecture is a decorative form common during the Victorian era. It has features like a corner tower, expansive porches, heavy decorations, and richly patterned wall surfaces.

When Did It Start?

Queen Anne Style architecture took inspiration from several medieval and Renaissance styles based in the late 1500s and the early 1600s. The period gained popularity in 1880 and continued till 1910. One of the arguments made while discussing this timeframe is the name of this style, as Queen Anne reigned between 1702 to 1707, and clearly, the form has traces in time much before that.

Why Did It Start?

There is no particular reason for the existence of the Queen Anne Style, as it varied largely in different regions. For example, in Britain, it spread widely because of a book Norman Shaw published in 1858, while in America, it was treated as a picturesque building with Free Renaissance details; also, in Australia, the influence of Richard Norman Shaw established Federal style, which further evolved the style.

19. Islamic Architecture.

A drone shot of Taj Mahal, heritage site of India having Islamic Architectural styles

Islamic architecture is the practice of building traditions of the Islamic population through fine details and ornamentation as well as using structural features that abides by the religion.

The buildings associated with it are commonly Mosque and Madrasahs, but it may include fortresses, tombs, schools, public baths etc. Initially, the architectural style took cues from Christian structures, especially the domes, columnar arches, and mosaics. But upon its spread to Asia, Chinese and Mughal architectural styles contributed widely to its evolution.

When Did It Start?

While the importance of studying Islamic architectural style surged in the last two centuries in various countries, mainly situated in the west, the birth of this style dates back to the first half of the 7th century.

Why Did It Start?

The primary purpose of Islamic buildings were to establish structures where Islam population can carry their religious traditions, namely the Mosque.

20. Expressionist Architecture.

Expressionist architectural style of Guggenheim museum

Back in the 19th century, Expressionism was at its peak due to its goal of portraying the inner spiritual values of oneself and expressing emotional reactions to the modern era. Understand that the painting styles got nurtured further to be in the interest of architects. But why? I will let you know in the same section after the introduction. Let me first throw some light on it.

It rejected the technical aspects and the industrial age, where the structures were conditioned on features like utility, construction and economics. Instead, the architects tried showcasing the political and societal upbringings through the artistic touch. It brought the romance of naturalistic decorative structures and emphasized literature and philosophy.

When Did It Start?

It started in the early 20th century in 1905, up until the 1930s.

Why Did It Start?

Primarily started in Germany and Netherlands, the focus of Expressionist architects was to cope with the industrial age and portray it through expressing emotions and this age. After World War 1, the communal and physical destruction caused an anti-industrial feeling that ultimately gave a thought that industry excelled in utter demolition. It is the reason behind their concept of fraternity and community, well-depicted in this architecture.

21. Medieval Architecture.

Medieval architectural style of Bodiam castle

After the Roman empire fell, Europe pushed its limit to revive its artistic abilities. Since Medieval architecture is based on Roman architecture, different parts of Europe portrayed modern architectural elements. Hence when we read about European medieval architecture, there come buildings with sacred and spiritual sections with a purpose.

Christianity and Catholicism rapidly spread across Europe, leading to the dilation of cathedral layers in Roman Architectural styles, and the addition of brightly coloured glass windows to romanticize the building interiors.

When Did It Start?

Different styles of medieval architecture started in different eras. For example, Romanesque architecture lasted from 1066 to 1200 and Gothic came into existence from 1200 to 1500. Similarly, the English Cathedrals date between 1040 and 1540.

Why Did It Start?

It mainly came into existence; due to secular and sacred reasons since it holds importance in the spreading of Churches and Christianity.

22. Greek Revival Architecture.

Greek revival architecture of the Virginia State Capitol

One of the famous architectural styles for private and public buildings, which included philosophy, arts and democracy. We will learn more about why it started after learning what makes them unique. The expensive marble look through whitewashing homes, bold or plain mouldings, sharp gable style roofing and unadorned friezes are a few characteristics of greek revival homes. They are modelled after the famous Greek temples of the older era. Classical Greek architecture dates to the fifth century, but the revival spread across Britain and USA, when most builders acted like an architect.

When Did It Start?

It started in America and Britain in the 1830s till the 60s. It reached a higher standard but began to fade out; after the civil war broke out, and the gothic style started spreading in the late 1800s.

Why Did It Start?

The 1800s period was to establish American democracy and so the archaeologists dug deep in search of the ancient life of the Greek isles as they depicted philosophy and democracy. During that time, the American architects travelled to Greece and took inspiration, forming the Greek Revival Homes.

23. Baroque Architecture.

Baroque architecture style of St. Peter's Basilica

Baroque architecture is found throughout Europe and Latin America, however, speculating notable differences. The Spanish language understands the term baroque differently than Italian does. The first one stands for an irregular pearl, whereas the other derives its meaning from a pedantic and contorted argument. Hence, the characteristics of the architecture go with the sense of the word. It includes mannerisms and frescos designs like the Adam painting by Michelangelo.

Its architectural plan had an oval and dynamic shape where the spaces favour the heightening of motion. There is dramatic and contrasting lighting with illusory and vividly painted ceilings from the bright colours.

When Did It Start?

It originated in the late 16th century in some regions of Italy and reached Germany and South America until the beginning of the 18th century.

Why Did It Start?

It began to give a way of relaxed and vibrant mood to the people. Take a reference from the incident in the Vatican city; there were issues with the protestant reformation in the late 16th century. In response to growing opposition, the Catholic Church leaders strategized to maintain their hold on congregants at the Council of Trent. Hence they turned away from the Gothic and brought a makeover of the Church through this style.

24. Tudor Architecture.

Tudor architect style of Athelhampton House

A type of British architecture comprising Renaissance decorative elements turned into Gothic style for domestic buildings and homes. When we go checking the exterior features of the Tudor style architecture, it has outdoors comprised a lavish use of half-timber work with large windows, complex roofs and patterned brickworks. On the other side, its interiors have wood-panelled walls, moulded plasterwork ceilings and Renaissance ornamental motifs.

When Did It Start?

It developed in the late 15th and early 16th century as a mixture of Renaissance and perpendicular Gothic architectural styles. It was the same era when Tudor monarchs, including Henry VII and Henry VIII, began to establish their reigns in England.

Why Did It Start?

In the Tudor era, England enjoyed economic prosperity, resulting in its creation. During this period, there were peaceful relations between England with Europe. Since there was enough wealth, hence the landowners began to build large manor houses, which is a kind of country house serving the administrative centre of an estate. It was a black-and-white construction which means half-timber and white-washed segments between it.

25. Beaux-Art Architecture.

Palais Garnier Beaux-art architect style

Beaux- Art architecture is named after a famous and legendary school in Paris, Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Buildings of this type feature symmetry and proportions influenced by Roman and Greek classicism with more French and Italian Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles. It is also sometimes referred to as Academic Classicism, American Renaissance or Beaux- Arts Classicism. By the time it entered America, the institutions’ buildings and government properties already adapted to it.

When Did It Start?

It emerged as a dominant style of architecture in America during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This style became popular in Chicago mainly because it was chosen for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893.

Why Did It Start?

It evolved from the neo-classicism architecture of the 1700s and 1800s. In response to a less-strict and formal designs compared to neo-classicism styles to introduce the inspiration from Renaissance and middle ages, the development of Beaux-Arts architecture took place.

26. Italiante Architecture.

Italianate architect style of Osborne House

It is a highly popularized variety of construction techniques which started during the 19th century. It had principles that opposed the precision and symmetry of Neoclassical design. Inspired by the brick farmhouses dotting north Italy, these cottages looked royal. The bungalow of this era often has a sense of Medieval and Italian Renaissance.

Typically Italianate house consists of 2 floors with towers and cupolas. You can identify one by its wide projecting cornices, heavy-richly ornamented windows and doorways.

Additionally, they have wide projecting cornices with heavy brackets and richly ornamented windows, porches, and doorways. Most American examples of Italianate mix details derived from both informal rural models and formal renaissance townhouses.

When Did It Start?

The first Italianate bungalow was built by the British architect John Nash in England in 1802. However, Italianate architecture has a time range of 1840–1885.

Why Did It Start?

Heavily influenced by the Picturesque movement of the 19th century, it conforms more closely to nature through gardens, meadows and beauty of landscape beauty. After the Civil war, many structures were demolished, resulting in gained popularity in California.

27. Federal Architecture.

A perspective view of The Capitol built using Federal architectural styles, United States

The federal architecture style dominated American landscape architecture. It was a progressive European idea about architecture which changed the taste of America. Federal refers to the period in American history when the federal system of governance developed, so all the buildings developed during this time readily incorporated European styling variations.

There are many characteristics of the Federal architectural kind, like the symmetrical form, elliptical fanlight over the front door, flat lintels over windows and decorative mouldings.

When Did It Start?

The Federal style, also habitually referred to as the Adam style has a timeline of 1780-1820.

Why Did It Start?

In addition to the independence struggle, the Americans were heavily influenced by Robert Adam, one of Britain’s most famous architects, which led them to adopt ancient Greek and Roman forms, which in addition lent them Federal Architecture.

28. Neo-Futurism.

Heydar Aliyev Center by Zaha Hadid Architects showing Neofuturism architecture

It evolved out of high-tech architecture, mixing and developing the same themes and ideas. It rethinks the aesthetics of the urban areas combined with functionality. When you learn more about it, it follows an idealistic approach to the future instead of a sceptical style of post-modernism.

Some of the architectural projects by Zaha Hadid belong to this style.

The main characteristics of Neo-Futurism kind are the connection to human emotion following urban design, eco-sustainability and regulated use of new materials and technology.

When Did It Start?

Its origins date back to the mid-20th century during the 1960s and 1970s from the architects Alvar Aalto and Eero Saarinen. However, it was revitalised in 2007 after a publication named The Neo-Futuristic City Manifesto.

Why Did It Start?

The chief reason for its existence is to achieve the practicality and aesthetics of fast-developing cities. Deviating from typical and usual rectangular or square buildings, it brings together the emotions of humans in the departed urban life. Additionally, the easy-flowing architecture, instead of a rigid structure, also emphasises sustainability.

29. Colonial Architecture.

A picture of Taj Hotel in Mumbai that uses Colonial Architecture Style

In colonial architecture, architectural styles from a mother country are incorporated into buildings of settlements or colonies far from their origins. If we go and check the characteristics of an American colonial home, they have three pillars: simplicity, symmetry, and rectangular shapes. In addition, two stories are always the norm, and the staircase is always positioned in the centre. Hence, the staircase is a prominent feature of most designs and is usually made from wood.

When Did It Start?

The European settlers on North American soil incorporated architectural styles from their native countries during the 1700s. Colonial architecture encompasses Georgian Colonial, Spanish Colonial, German Colonial, French Colonial, Dutch Colonial, Federal, and Cape Cod styles.

Why Did It Start?

The original intention of this style was to replicate the English colonists’ way of life. However, in the end, those who chose this style wanted to emulate the rich people who built the original homes.

30. Futurist Architecture.

Perspective drawing of La Città Nuova by Sant'Elia, 1914

The epitome of futurist architecture is Italy, where it was motivated by anti-historians and focused on dynamism, movement and urgency. The Futurist architects knew about its foundation artistic movement, Futurism, through poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and several other writers and artists. It further emphasized the machine age or technological changes of the new century.

The use of technology like glass elevators, sleek lines and metal components in the building is one of the characteristics. Movement and Natural elements usage is preferred.

When Did It Start?

Futurist architecture developed in the early 20th century. In 1912, Antonio SantElia and Mario Chiattone pioneered to design the of futuristic architecture, which illustrated Marinetti’s call for a new beauty centred around speed and energy.

Why Did It Start?

Futurism Architecture was an attempt to reject historical architecture and revolutionise the society with modern means. It was also considered a viable option for meeting the demands of the population while maintaining sustainability.

31. Indo-Saracenic Architecture.

Indo Saracenic architecture style of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Mumbai

Indo-Saracenic architecture is a movement by the British in India that drew elements from Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture, also referred to as Indo-Gothic architecture. The chief characteristics of this type of architecture are dome structures, pointed arches, vaulted roofs, towers, and harims.

When Did It Start?

It started in the late 19th century, especially after the revolt of 1857 when the East India Company supremacy went to the British government.

Why Did It Start?

During the freedom struggle of India against the Britishers, the government tried to manipulate and show their supremacy by modifying the architectural styles of the public buildings. Hence, they infused gothic style with Indian and Islamic architecture to give this kind of form.

32. Sustainable Architecture.

Sustainable architect style of Copenhill

Sustainable architecture is a practice in architecture to reduce the negative impact on the environment over the long haul. To implement it correctly, architects use a dedicated approach that comprises structural efficiency, energy resources, wastewater treatment, and greenery. Though efficient, sustainable architecture does not implement natural resources in their originality like Biophilic architecture and is slowly losing its identity with architects inventing newer ideas in the latter space.

When Did It Start?

Sustainable architecture gained value in the late 1980s when Kansas City architect Bob Berkebile attempted to convince the American Institute of Architects to push more to save the planet. Though the architect initially failed to convince the board directors, he was backed by young and upcoming architects who helped him find and chair the AIA Committee on the Environment. Since then, various certificates have been introduced to support the cause.

Note: Sustainable design evolved considerably from the 1960 introduction of the phrase, “Reduce, reuse, recycle.”

Why Did It Start?

The worsening climatic conditions, the energy crisis of the 1970s, and the rise of Sustainable development were a wake-up call for the architectural industry to do more to support the cause.

33. Hawaiian Architecture.

Liljestrand House Architect style of Hawaii

A dedicated architectural style of the Islands of Hawaii, Hawaiian architecture dates not long ago, and the old architects, Poe kuhikuhi pu’uone, made culturally rich structures of the period. Suitable for the climatic conditions of the island, these architects developed heiau (temples) open like heaven and Hale (Homes) that were hatched huts with raised stone foundations.

The characteristics of this architectural style varied throughout its different periods, with one showcasing the Italianate style in its significant buildings. However, three of the common features are overhanging eaves, a verandah, and plenty of windows.

Note: The modern architecture of Hawaii retains these features and site planning for given reasons and adapts to the modernist approach to great innovative extents.

When Did It Start?

The first settlement of Hawaiian islands began 1500 years ago, with no inhabitants except birds, bats, and sea creatures. The ancient architectural style has no specific timeframe until 1778, when British Captain James Cook arrived on the islands and opened the routes for trade. Following this, a masterpiece of commercial architecture, the Port of Honolulu, was constructed in 1816, changing the history of architecture in Hawaii forever.

Why Did It Start?

Hawaiian architectural style originated to serve the island’s climatic conditions that didn’t allow Vernacular architecture to exist.

34. Rococo Architecture.

Würzberg Residence Rococo architectural styles

The last stage of the French Baroque and the art of the first half of the 18th century is usually termed Rococo. Primarily a style of interiors and decorative art, the ornamental style flourished in France, followed by Germany and Austria.

The interiors of Rococo followed a comfortable approach rejecting the massive Baroque forms and decorative panels on the main wall, with padduga (spherical surface above the cornice of the room). Further, mirrors and large windows created a sense of spaciousness, and Stucco (high-quality plaster) was used to create ornamental designs that included flower garlands and bouquets, leaves, numerous cupids, etc. Further, architects started using delicate whitened pastel tones, small furniture, and Chinese decorations.

As pretentious as the interiors of the Rococo were, the exteriors remained simple, with little architectural practicability, as seen in Würzburg Residence. Rococo buildings had supporting parts flowing smoothly into each other with fancy curving on the roof, facade, and cornices. Decorative sculptures further added an ornamental feeling to the lavish buildings of Rococo.

When Did It Start?

The Rococo architectural style started when Louis XV wished for the rearrangements of Versailles Palace and hired Ange-Jacques Gabriel, who rejected using Baroque forms, and the Rococo Style emerged. These changes were done after 1715 when the reign of the “Sun King” ended.

Why Did It Start?

During the reign of Louis XV, the treasury was empty and lacked funds for large-scale projects. Following this, the decoration of interiors acquired significant attention. Additionally, as the new court atmosphere had already changed to being frivolous, Rococo replaced Baroque and discovered a comfortable state rather than lavish.

35. Eclectic Architecture.

Eclectic Architecture of Paris Opera

Following Classicism, the Eclectic architecture style made its way in the 1820s to 1830s when architects found solutions of hiding a modern design or layout with an exterior that resembled genuine Historical architecture. Eclectic Architecture had two notable directions: in the first case, interiors and exteriors (both) adopted the Historical style. The second option, however, was a mixture of styles and decorative details. For example, the facades of a house are decorated in Renaissance style with Baroque elements, and the interiors have Gothic or Rococo style.

Further, Eclecticism in architecture brought several styles back in the form of Gothic Revival, Renaissance Revival, Byzantine Revival, Baroque Revival, etc., and the era of learning Middle Ages and their values became crucial. Architects started applying a scientific basis to the restoration and the new projects with the use of metals like iron and cast iron supporting them in the cause.

Eclectic Buildings, taking the example of the Building of Parliament of London between 1834-68, showed asymmetric composition with several high prismatic towers creating a Gothic silhouette and the interiors having the same English Gothic style. However, this styling was matched with a functional organization: planning, structure, and the building equipment of the latest requirements.

Note: There are cases like the Opera House in Paris with different styles for Interiors and Exteriors, Venetian Renaissance on the outside, and Baroque and Rococo inside.

When Did It Start?

Eclectic architecture dates back to the end of the 30s of the 19th century.

Why Did It Start?

Eclecticism in architecture started with the fall of Classicism, which at the time was regarded as a dry movement lacking emotions. Following this, architects found a diverse and flexible architecture type suitable for every type of building, and Eclecticism was the result.

Final Words.

That is it! You learnt 35 architectural styles from history and present; if you are an architect, you know how to evolve and where to start, and if not, boast about it in your group (unless they are historians, of course).

Also, let me know your favourite architecture style among these and keep an over this one as I will add more information to fill your information appetite.

Frequently Asked Questions.

What defines architectural style?

A type of architecture characterised by unique structural properties and living benefits is termed architectural style.

What are the most famous architectural styles?

Contemporary architecture is the current style of architecture and also the most famous one. In contemporary architecture, there is no singular dominant style; however, a mixture of components like curved lines, unconventional volumes, sustainable materials, etc., are used to create a structure that one can easily distinguish.

What is the newest architectural style?

Neofuturism is the newest architectural style that dominates for its sense of functionality in urban spaces and for its modern structural behaviour.

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