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Architectural Styles

There are many different Architectural Styles that have emerged over the many thousands of years of Human Construction, I have decided to write about 6 of the main ones here

1. Baroque

The Baroque Architectural movement was an advancement of Classicism with more fluid styles using different mathematical shapes of ellipses, curves even including optical illusions and complex geometries.

Its origins were predominantly in Italy but rapidly spread to central Europe, France and Spain and Spains South American Colonies.

Sir Christopher Wren and Nicholas Hawksmoor were advocates of the baroque style and great examples of this are St Pauls Cathedral and Westminster Abbey

2. Orientalism

This style manifested itself with the Europeans becoming interested in the exploration of the far east in the shape of artifacts being returned to western culture in the 18th and 19th Centuries.

It wasnt just architecture that was influenced, pottery, painting, furniture and textiles all came under the influence.

Chinoiserie, the Chinese influenced branch of Orientalism was at its most popular in the mid 18th Century.

Great examples of Orientalism are the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens and the Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Art Nouveau

The Architectural movement Art Nouveau first started to become popular at the turn of the 20th Century, The first Art Nouveau houses and interior decoration appeared in Brussels in the 1890s and quicky moved to Paris where it became very popular on the Paris Metro. Influences on Art Nouveau development was the desire and emphasis on 19th century new materials namely glass and iron and the desire to make the structure visible.

Art Nouveau had a short life span and soon faded by the 1910s and was replaced by the more dominant Art Deco and then by Modernism

Art Deco

Art Deco was not just an architectural movement, its influence spanned many genres, including transport, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, ocean liners public buildings and everyday objects.

Its characteristic styles included sunburst patterns, expressive motifs and the use of geometric forms of cubism and bright bold colours.

The name Art Deco took its name from the Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, which was held in Paris in 1925.

New materials and technologies including the use of concrete, helped in the development of the Art Deco movement in its architectural form, other new methods were important including the production of plate glass. At the start of the movement in the early 1910s, bright colours were used including floral designs.

The advent of a second World War and the austerity of its aftermath brought Art Deco to an end.

International Style

This is a major architectural style that developed in the 1920s and 1930s and was closely related to modernism. MOMA first defined it in 1932. It originates from the aesthetic of rational and functional design. Major architectural figures in its use were Mies Van De Rohe, Le Corbusier, Philip Johnson, Walter Gropius and more.

The style can be defined in its use of glass steel and concrete as its main materials, and its design philosophy was based on industrial mass production and the expression of the structure of the building rather than covering or hiding its basic form.

Slogans became common in describing its architectural features, "form follows function" "truth to materials"


At its core of Brutalism is the use of bare concrete in various textures and forms. together with more traditional building materials, bold shapes and angles are deployed in its form to create honest and hard wearing buildings.

It was first described by two married architects, Alison and Peter Smithson who were looking for a new aesthetic to rebuild a new welfare state Britain. New Brutalism became the standard for local government construction projects. Its form continued in the 1970s

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