Architectural ‘styles’ or ‘movements’ are a useful label in classifying and grouping together architectural instances, commonly bound by a time period, region, or theme. While this methodology may work reasonably well for older historic styles, however it can be very hard to acutely define current or contemporary trends. This is made even harder when an architect rejects the idea of classification, and may inadvertently (or even intentionally) buck a trend for the sake of personal expression.

As with fashion and trends in allied design fields, the weight of popular opinion, economic and cultural climates tends to drive client-directed design towards adherence to style-derived norms. This in turn encourages either the continued development of contemporary forms, or neo-adaptation, where ideas from historic architectural examples are re-visited or adapted.

Styles happening now

Any style or movement espousing the term ‘new’, ‘modern’, ‘contemporary’, or ‘future’ is going to run into trouble with classification and confusion of terminology once it is replaced by something ‘newer’. Therefore, contemporary is used here only to confirm its ongoing development and implementation. Under this banner, it is also hard to define (without the advantage of hindsight) whether these styles have formally finished.

Finally, while we often attribute the development of each style to the works or words of prominent architects of the time, we must not fail to remember that ideas are seldom derived from a single source, and it often the collaboration of many, or influence from wide-ranging sources that give rise to these movements.

This list of Architectural Styles is represented in reverse chronological order, from the most recent, and stretches back into antiquity.

  • Meta-Modernism / New Romanticism
  • Critical Regionalism
  • Neo-Modernism
  • Deconstructivism
  • High Tech

Styles passed

  • Post- Modernism
  • Late Modernism
  • International Style
  • Art Deco
  • Bauhaus
  • Gothic Revival
  • Early Modernism in Europe
  • Beaux-Arts
  • Early Modernism in America
  • Art Nouveau
  • Expressionism
  • Rococo Architecture
  • Neo-Classical
  • Baroque
  • Renaissance
  • Gothic
  • Romanesque
  • Byzantine
  • Roman
  • Hellenist
  • Greek
  • Egyptian 
  • Sumerian & Mesopotamian

Architectural Periods

Architecture has also been categorised by the rule and reign of the sovereignty, based upon their influence in marking their reign with architecture or the styles of their time. In United Kingdom and throughout the Commonwealth, there are significant architectural periods that architecture is described by. For example: 

Australian architectural styles in housing is diverse in representation of many of the styles that have been listed above. Therefore we have outlined an overview of how style impacted the development and growth of the nation, represented in each person's 'castle' or the 'Great Australian Dream'.



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The information contained in the article and website are general in nature and are the opinions of the author, through his professional experience and study. Click here for more details of our content.  
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