Federation Architecture Australia is divided into a few sub-groups, such as Arts and Crafts, and comes in various sizes, including semi-detached homes. Architect-designed architecture is more common than builder-designed architecture.
The name came from the Federation of Australia on January 1, 1901, and the architectural style was popular between 1890 and 1915. The design elements are a mix of Queen Anne and Edwardian styles from the United Kingdom.
Edwardian and Australian Federation Architecture is often two styles that are frequently confusing for some but are the same architectural style. The term ‘Edwardian‘ refers to a popular home style in Australia during the Federation, named after King Edward (1901-1910). The Australian adaptation of Edwardian architecture is now known as Federation style.EXAMPLES OF FEDERATION ARCHITECTURE IN AUSTRALIA
The Arts & Crafts, Queen Anne, Federation Bungalow, Anglo-Dutch, Warehouse, as well as Federation Queenslander architectural styles all emerged during the Federation period.
The best examples of the turn-of-the-century type are generally found in the leafy or garden suburbs surrounding the more densely subdivided Victorian belts of capital cities and regional centres and are sometimes referred to as “Edwardian.” They also show up in pairs on farms where the early 1900s wool checks were renowned for being generous.CHARACTERISTICS OF FEDERATION STYLE HOUSES IN AUSTRALIA
- Cast-iron latticework
- Decorative timber fretwork
- High ceilings
- Leadlight windows with white-painted frames
- Dominant roof lines with gables, hips, and exposed rafter ends
- Highly ornamental interior design
- Manicured garden and landscaping
- Terracotta tiles, corrugated iron, or pitched slate roof
- Front verandahs
- Paved patio, driveway, and pathway
Despite earlier style influences, advances marked this architectural period in roofing adornment, finials, and decorative ridge tiles. Decorative wrought iron was initially popular during this period, but its popularity faded as decorative and expert ornamental woodwork became more popular. Buildings’ brickwork became more decorative as well.
Buildings began to place a greater emphasis on adornment and decoration, with brickwork being used decoratively around windows and doors and in chimneys in some cases. The popularity of leadlight windows persisted during this period. Still, the earlier preference for a long verandah gave way to the entry porch, which featured decorative wooden additions instead of wrought iron adornments.
Red brick exteriors, stained glass, bay windows, return verandahs, tessellated tiles, pressed-metal ceilings, finials, turned-timber posts and fretwork, a long central corridor, and slate or terracotta tile roofs distinguish Federation or Edwardian homes.
Another feature of detached Federation houses is that they are frequently built on large lots. They’re in Haberfield, Mosman, Neutral Bay, Burwood, and Centennial Park in Sydney. They can be found in Melbourne’s inner east and southeast. They are concentrated in Brisbane’s western suburbs and wealthy riverside areas.WHY AUSTRALIANS LOVE FEDERATION HOUSES
While some Australians prefer modern and art-deco architecture styles, there’s still a lot of appreciation for federation architecture. The flora and fauna of the country are highlighted in this classic residential architecture. The woodwork was encrusted with nature (e.g., sunrise motifs, vines, flowers). Many Federation homes also have lush native plant gardens. These two items demonstrate how proud and ecstatic Australians were of their country.FEDERATION HOUSES TODAY
Many Federation-style structures are now included in the Register of the National Estate. These are being preserved because of their historical significance. Also, they fall under the category of one of the most desirable homes in urban areas, with the desirable and elegant aesthetics that bring back the vibe of the Edwardian period.
Sometimes called as a “total work of art” – the Art Deco architecture in Australia is one of the most recognizable architectural styles. The Art Deco style had a great impact on the Australian building scene during the period from 1918 up to the early ‘40s. Together with Georgian Revival and Spanish Mission styles, it inspired and influenced Australian architecture at the time. Clean and bold with geometric lines, the style moved away from organic shapes and silhouettes and was heavily inspired by contemporary archaeological discoveries in Egypt and Greece.
Standalone buildings constructed in the second and third decade of the 20th century were not very common and are therefore heritage listed. During this era, individual homes usually came with an extensive plot of land. On the other side, multi-family apartment buildings and block were designed more commonly than the previous dwelling typology.
In any case, some of the best examples of Australian Art Deco architecture can still be found around cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. We take you through the ins and outs of this architectural style throughout the remainder of our article below.KEY FEATURES OF THE ART DECO STYLE
Symmetry and simplicity were the two main essences of the Art Deco style. Simple geometric shapes were combined with grandiose and expensive natural and artificial materials and fibres.
Some of the most recognizable elements of the Art Deco style are brickwork, lavishly elaborated details on the chimney, cast iron elements and intricate balcony design. During the later phase of Art Deco architecture in Australia, nautical elements and curved forms became widely adopted. After the Great Depression in the USA, shapes were simplified and elements became less intricate. Architects favoured aerodynamic forms and designed them frequently.
Facades were mainly made of red brick. Roughcast and weatherboard finishes were also widely spread in the exterior surfaces. Front fences were made of brick while gates were mainly made of wrought-iron. The popularity of verandas decreased over time and they were substituted with enclosed balconies. Chimneys and roofs often had intricate designs, which included spires, towers, geometric forms and shapes.
Throughout the interior, details such as stained glass, ceiling moulds and elaborated cornices are typical for the Art Deco style. Wooden wall panels and glass bricks are typical elements of the style. Brass and other shiny metals were widely adopted throughout the interior, together with ebony, ivory and precious stones.EMBLEMATIC EXAMPLES OF ART DECO ARCHITECTURE IN AUSTRALIA
The ANZAC War Memorial in Hyde Park, Sydney is probably the most recognizable landmark which was designed in the Art Deco spirit. Non the less, there is a great number of residential buildings all across Australia.
Sydney suburb Potts Point is an area where some of the first apartment blocks were made back in the early 1920s. This eastern suburb also has the greatest concentration of preserved Art Deco style buildings in the whole of Australia. The Macleay Regis is a prime example of Australian residential architecture made under the influence of Art Deco principles.
The Minerva Theatre in Potts Point (Sydney) and Hayden Orpheum Picture Palace in Cremorne are a few example of public venues made in the so called “streamline modern” Art Deco style, which was typical for the 1930s. The Grace Building and AWA Tower in Sydney are two more representatives of the style. The Manchester Unity Building and the former Russell Street Police Headquarters are great examples of Art Deco architecture in Melbourne.MARKET VALUE OF ART DECO BUILDINGS AUSTRALIA
From an investment point of view, Art Deco buildings are quite interesting, as there are not many of them. They are scattered around Sydney’s harbour and the Lower North Shore. In Melbourne, we can find them in the inner-city suburbs. All of these areas are close to densely populated districts and are well connected to other parts of cities.
Purchasing such a property can have its pros and cons. Great location and good access to transportation hubs and commercial venues are definitely a great advantage of these buildings and apartment blocks. Of course, if you are an architectural fan, the style itself together with its construction details and elements are a certain pro.
On the other hand, if you are not a fan of creaky floors, narrow corridors, and noise that can sometimes penetrate your inner space than maybe you will find that investing in an Art Deco property is not a good idea. Sometimes, these properties are in a need of a refreshment, renovation, and usually come with dated electrical and tubing installations. These properties do come as heritage listed, which can make the process of refurbishment a bit more tedious than when investing in a new build.RENOVATION TIPS AND CONTEMPORARY ART DECO
If you decide to purchase an Art Deco property, continue reading as we have gathered some useful tips on how to properly and successfully renovate your real estate.
Given that most of these buildings, especially stand-alone ones, have some sort of heritage protection; when it comes to renovation, we can only talk about refurbishment.
Refurbishment may consist of bathroom and kitchen improvements. Replacement of old windows to improve acoustics and insolation performances. If you are looking to introduce the Art Deco aesthetics to your home, pay attention to the clean lines and geometrical shapes. To keep your interior contemporary and modern. Also, opt for a soft colour palette. These hues will make your space appear fresh and up-to-date. Glass, stones – both natural or artificial, brass, copper and other metallic finishes are a great way to incorporate elements of the style in your home.
Why is victorian architecture so popular in Australia? It’s no secret that Australia was once part of enormous and mighty British Empire. Both British and European influence have been strong all over the world, and the area of architecture is no exemption.
During the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901), there was a boom in the construction industry. The quality of build and attention to detail that were paid back in the day were so great that we can easily find properties from this era scattered around the globe. When it comes to Australia, we can find a great number of these historically valuable buildings across New South Wales, Tasmania, and just about all other states as well.
Researchers and architectural theorists agree that there were three main periods in which the Victorian style was going through some form of transformation and innovation. These periods include: early (up until 1860), mid- (from 1860 up till 1875), and late Victorian style (form 1875 up till 1901). This architectural style is often mistaken for Federation architecture, but they do have notable differences.
In this article, we will explain the main features of the different periods of the victorian era. We hope you enjoy!EARLY-VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE
Early Victorian architecture had a simpler form than the latter periods. There are a number of key elements that are distinct to the Early Victorian Style. These include brickwork, a front veranda, a pitched roof and minimal decorations. The design of these houses is similar to Worker’s Cottages. In the interior, ceilings were plain and usually unadorned.MID-VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE
Intricate and elaborate ornaments became more commonly accepted as we move to the mid-Victorian era. Features such as ornamental brick facades, lacework made of cast iron, ceiling embellishments and purely decorative cast mouldings are predominant. Picket fencing or cast iron was used to enclose the front yard. On the inside, fancy and ornamental stained glass windows were commonly installed.LATE-VICTORIAN ARCHITECTURE
During the final period of Victorian Architecture, the terrace house was the most emblematic dwelling type. These properties came with sophisticated laces made of cast iron. Fireplaces, decorative timberwork mouldings, plaster ceiling mouldings, and narrow and steep staircases are just some of the most representative features of this era of Victorian Architecture.
Living and dining rooms became places of gathering and socializing and they were planned towards the front of the house, while the kitchen was planned to the back. Bedrooms were located either on the upper floor (if the house had more than just a ground floor), or off the foyer.
If you are currently planning to invest in a historical building constructed during this lavish period, here are some features to look for:
- Spectacular quality of materials
- Solid Timber flooring
- Supreme quality build and craftmanship
- Intricate detailing, both indoor and outdoor
- Iron roofs
- Solid brick construction
Moreover, if you are a proud owner of one of these emblematic properties, you may want to restore and preserve some of these elements, as they will definitely add value to your property.
Have you ever wondered where in the spectrum of numerous architectural styles your residential property stands? If you are an Australian property owner, or perhaps you are soon to become one, you may want to pay attention to this article.
Although, throughout the years, many styles have been borrowed from abroad, there is a series of styles that are unique to the Australian market. To know where your real estate fits in this design range, continue reading as we will give you a brief lesson on the history of Australian architecture.
Note: If your property was severely modified over the course of time, it may contain elements of numerous styles.THE VICTORIAN STYLE
The Victorian Style was most commonly used from the beginning of the 19th to the beginning of the 20th century. It can be divided into three major stages: early (1804-1860), mid (1861 to 1875) and late (1876 to 1901).
There are a number of key elements that are distinctive to the early Victorian style. These include: brickwork, a front veranda, pitched roof and minimal decorations. The design of these houses is fairly similar to those of worker’s cottages.
Intricate and elaborate ornaments become more commonly accepted as we move toward the mid-Victorian era. Features such as ornamental brick facades, lacework made of cast iron, ceiling embellishments and purely decorative cast mouldings are predominant feature in Victorian architecture from 1861 to 1875.
In the final period, Victorian properties came with sophisticated laces made of cast iron, fireplaces, decorative timberwork mouldings, plaster ceiling mouldings, narrow and steep staircases. Living and dining rooms became places of gathering and socializing and they were planned towards the front of the house, while the kitchen was planned to the back. Bedrooms were located either on the upper floor (if the house had more than just a ground floor), or off the foyer.THE FEDERATION STYLE
Also commonly known as the Edwardian style, the Federation style across Australia got its name in honour of King Edward the VII (1901-1910). The Federation style is a local Australian adaptation of Edwardian style of architecture.
The Federation style is rather distinctive and easy to recognize. Façades of these buildings were covered with red bricks, roofs were either made of terracotta tiles or slate. Throughout the interior, lavishly decorative press-metal ceilings, timber mouldings on the walls, decorative staircases and lace-like ornaments are just a few of many elements that are typical of the Federation style of Australian architecture.ART DECO
The Art Deco movement first appeared in France during the second decade of the 20th century — just before World War I. This style was described as a “total work of art”. What this means is that its influence penetrated not only architectural circles, but also films, theatre and fashion.
The style reached its peak in the ‘20s and ‘30s of the 20th century. It is then, when it became widely adopted in Australia as well. The main characteristics of Art Deco are clean, bold lines and geometric shapes. Design was influenced by industry and industrial design. Symmetry and simplicity were essential aspects of this style.
Decorative masonry, geometric elements and patterns and windows with metal frames are just some of the most recognizable elements of the Art Deco style. In the interiors, wooden parquetry flooring, veneer wall panels, mottled tiles (also known as shell tiles) and a great diversity in colours were some of the most emblematic style features.
Pink, pale blue or lime colour were frequently paired with black to create impressive contrast.THE CALIFORNIAN BUNGALOW
Europe wasn’t the only continent to influence Australian architecture. Influence also came from the USA. American culture first started influencing Aussie society via music and films. It was not long after that architectural trends from the USA gained their popularity in Down Under as well.
The popularity of Californian Bungalows reached the peak of its popularity between 1910 and 1930. But why was this architectural style so widely adopted in Australia? These homes were originally designed to provide protection from the heat on the North American continent. Knowing that the climate in Australia is fairly similar to the one in California, these houses became a great success.
A front veranda is probably one of the most emblematic elements of this style of architecture. The front porch was usually supported with columns, which were originally made of wood. However, the main building material was replaced by brick in Australia to better fit the building norms.POST-WAR ARCHITECTURE
After the Second World War ended in 1945, Australia had to face numerous social, political and economic changes and challenges. Australia received a great number of European war refugees which eventually resulted in housing shortage. The circumstance created a great opportunity for new beginnings and construction of new houses.
New residential properties were built in a large spectrum of styles. California bungalows, fibro and timber cottages and L-shaped homes are just some of the most common styles of construction in the early post war era. We have already covered the main characteristics of the California bungalow style, so let’s focus on the latter two.
L-shape homes were first built in the second half of 1940s. The traditional layout was rejected, and a modern approach to floor planning was adopted. Windows were made of steel or timber and terracotta tiles were used throughout homes.
Fibro cottages are more common throughout coastal areas. They were widely built between the ’30s and ’50s. The authentic cottages were pretty inexpensive to purchase, thus their popularity. However, as they were usually clad with asbestos, which is today considered to be a toxic material, remodelling of these properties is highly recommended.
Australian homes that were built in the second half of the 20th century, especially those built in the 1970s were based on previous architectural styles. Features such as natural materials and untreated surfaces were common for this period.
Wall paneling, timber paneling, unpainted bricks, and plasterboard ceilings painted in red, yellow and blue are just some of the main aspects of this style. Additionally, an increase in ownership of personal vehicles led to mass the construction of garages.
Fibro fisherman’s cottage-type houses, together with pavilion dwellings, and triple-fronted brick veneer homes started appearing in this period as well. The popularity of these types of homes is due to their relatively inexpensive cost of construction.MID-CENTURY MODERN
As an architectural style, Mid-century Modern was perhaps the most warmly welcomed style in Australia. In the years that followed the Second World War and expansion of construction in the ‘50s and ‘60s, thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of homes were built across the whole country.
Some key features of this architectural style are enormous floor-to-ceiling apertures. Roofs were mainly flat, and interiors were done design in a sleek and straight line. Bold colours such as blue, yellow and red, and combinations of each were introduced in the forms of details and accents. Many of these homes enjoy heritage status today.CONTEMPORARY AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE
When it comes to modern Australian residential architecture, we can detect some common elements, including open-floor plans that connect the living-room, kitchen and dining room, entertainment areas, home offices or studies, grand-spa and hotel-style bathrooms, multiple stories, one or multiple garages and a pool area.
When it comes to modern Australian residential architecture, we can detect some common elements, including open-floor plans that connect the living-room, kitchen and dining room, entertainment areas, home offices or studies, grand-spa and hotel-style bathrooms, multiple stories, one or multiple garages and a pool area.
Throughout the interior, natural stone (or imitations) are used for countertops in kitchens. Additionally, suspended ceilings with built-in LED lights, tiled floors and floors with carpeting in the bedrooms are some elements of modern-day Australian architecture.
As the time passes, homes are also getting bigger and grander to accommodate all of the commodities of modern life.
The term Modern Architecture is used to describe an architectural movement that first emerged in the late 19th century, and also widely spread around the world during the first half of the 20th century. Since then, architecture has continued to inspire designers around the world.
The Modern Era has been heavily influenced by technological innovations in the field of construction, such as the implementation of glass, steel and reinforced concrete. The emphasis has been on functionality rather than ornamentation, and thus a more minimalistic and simple approach to design has been adopted over recent years. Ideas such as “less is more” and “form should follow function” are some of the key principles of modern architecture.
While modern architecture can be described as a style on its own, we can detect various sub-categories inside the predominant style. Let’s get into some of the architectural styles from the last two centuries, which have also had an influence on architecture today.ART DECO
The Art Deco style was a modern style; however, it wasn’t based on modernist principles. Reinforced concrete, glass and steel were generously used in art deco buildings, nonetheless, and lavish ornamentation and decorative elements were the key features of this style as well.
Art Deco emerged in France in the first decade of the 20th century and spread throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. It was exceptionally well adopted in the USA where the first skyscrapers were made following the standards of Art Deco. Two impressive representatives of the Art Deco architectural style is Palais de Chaillot in Paris, and Chrysler Building in New York.
In Australia, you can find plenty of buildings in the Art Deco style.ECLECTICISM
Eclecticism first appeared in the late 19th century, and lasted until the early years of the 20th century. The main characteristics of this style involve the incorporation of architectural elements and techniques from previous styles – in order to get something innovative and unique. These elements could be furniture, decorative motives, structural features and historical ornaments.
Eclecticism first started in France, and afterwards gained its followers across Europe, as well as the Americas and some parts of Asia. This highly ornament-orientated style was a combination of different styles – thus its name. With this style of architecture, the emphasis was predominantly on aesthetics.
The remarkable Sagrada Familia Cathedral in Barcelona by Antoni Gaudi is a notable example of Eclecticism in architecture. Works on this magnificent building started back in the 1926 and are still not completed.THE INTERNATIONAL STYLE
The International style of architecture was developed throughout the second and third decades of the 20th century. Some of the greatest names in architecture ever like Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Jacobus Oud, and Phillip Johnson were the major figures of this particular movement in the architectural world.
Rationalist Architecture and the Modernist Movement are just some of the terms that are associated with the International Style. Clean straight lines, an absence of ornamentation and decorative elements, and functionality before form are just some of the fundamental principles of this style. The Wissenhof Estate in Stuttgart Germany, was a neighbourhood which was built in 1927 and contains ones of the best examples of buildings in the International Style in the world.GERMAN MODERNISM AND THE BAUHAUS STYLE
German Modernism as an architectural movement was highly influenced by the Bauhaus German School of Art, which was operational from 1919 until 1923. Although Bauhaus students were mainly orientated towards the arts and crafts, they had a great impact on architects working in Germany and around Europe in this period.
The main concept of this style was to unify arts, crafts, technology and construction. Lines are simple, silhouettes are clean. Also, a lack of unnecessary ornamentation is one of the key elements of this architectural movement. The Bauhaus school building in Dessau — now museum — is probably the greatest and most authentic example of German Modernism.AMERICAN MODERNISM
Frank Lloyd Wright was a star of modern architecture in the USA. Although, he considered his approach to architecture as unique, and wouldn’t classify himself as representative of any styles, the impact he made on architecture is impressive.
Other important representatives of this stream in modern architecture are Rudolph Schindler, and Richard Neutra. The Lovell Beach House in Newport Beach (pictured below) together with Lovell Health House in Los Feliz, are probably just two of many exemplary buildings made in spirit of American Modernism.BRUTALISM
Brutalism, or brutalist architecture emerged in the ’50s. Some of the main characteristics of this style was and abundant use of poured concrete, a monolithic appearance, hard lines mainly in rectangular form, massiveness of the buildings, and heavy looking materials. Unfinished looking surfaces and modular and prefabricated elements were commonly used. Apertures were treated like voids in the walls and windows were therefore usually small.
This style was mainly used for government buildings, hospitals, universities and other public buildings, as well as residential skyscrapers. Brutalism quickly spread across Europe, and was especially popular in communists countries such as the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. The UK is another country where traces of Brutalism can be found.
The movement began to decline in the ’70s, as it was heavily criticised for being inhuman. The building of the Royal National Theatre in London is a great example of this style.GOOGIE
Googie is an architectural style that emerged and spread all throughout the USA. South California is the where Googie originate. This very peculiar style was highly influenced by cars, jets, the Space Age and the Atomic Age. Therefore, the overall image of this style is very “future” inspired. It was highly popular throughout the USA from the 1940s till 1970s. The term “Googie” originates from now-demolished Googies Coffee Shop in Hollywood.
The style was popular for designing gas stations, motels and coffee houses. The greatest features of Googie are geometric shapes, angled roofs, bold usage of glass and steel elements, and neon signs. The highly ornamented style represents America’s fascination with the Space Age and space exploration. The world’s oldest operating McDonald’s, located in Downey, California, is one of many examples of this style.NEW FORMALISM
New Formalism is a style that emerged in the USA in the mid-1950s, and reached its peak in the 1960s. Mainly high-profile public buildings, such as trade and cultural centres, theatres and university buildings were designed according to the principles of New Formalism.
Buildings that were designed in this style show some apparent elements of the Classical Style. Strict symmetry, classical columns, smooth wall surfaces, expensive materials such as marble or travertine and buildings set on podiums.
The Lincoln Center of Preforming Arts is a complex of buildings situated in New York City. Some of these venues, such as David H. Koch Theater are good representations of New Formalism.MID-CENTURY MODERN
The Mid-Century Modern architectural style made an enormous impact in the world of interior and furniture design, and design generally. Nevertheless, we can’t neglect the importance of this style in architecture as well.
As the name states, Mid-Century Modern emerged, and was popular in the USA from the mid 40’s and all the way through the 50’s and 60’s. The legacy of this style is so powerful that it is highly popular in the 21st century as well.
The aesthetics of this style follow the principles of the Modernist Movement. Thus, it was highly influenced by the International Style. Lines are clean and simple, without ornamentation and decorative elements. The style does have a more organic form than the International style, and the silhouettes are not so formal. The Miller House by Richard Neutra, or Oscar Niemeyer’s Building Copan in Sao Paolo are legitimate representations of this style.MINIMALISM
Minimalism as an architectural style focuses on the following principal elements: elegant lighting and voids, empty spaces and voids, empty airy spaces left after removing the three-dimensional elements, and shapes in design. The main goal of this style is to achieve simplicity and basic forms. Details are important and a lot of attention is paid to materials, people, light, space and airiness of the architectural environment.
Minimalist architecture has greatly been influenced by the oriental approach to building. Japanese architecture and art have especially made an important impact to minimalism-oriented architects.
This style became notably popular among architects in London and New York in the 1980s. There are many contemporary architects who design buildings following the principles of minimalism. The 330 North Wabash skyscraper (1973) by Mies van der Rohe is a very good example of this architectural style.METABOLISM
Metabolism is an architectural movement that first emerged in Japan after World War II. The founders of this style were influenced by biological processes, as well as Marxist theories.
Here the focus was on free and organic forms, and nature served as a great source of inspiration as well. Additionally, new technologies and their implementation in the architectural world also played an important role in this movement.
During the ’70s — after the oil crisis — the Metabolists’ influence extended beyond Japan, mostly to the Middle East and Africa. One of the most emblematic examples of the metabolism is Kisho Kurokawa’s Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo.ORGANIC ARCHITECTURE
Organic Architecture is an architectural style, or better said, philosophy that promotes harmony between humans and the natural world. Frank Lloyd Wright was the first person to coin this term back in first half of the 20th century.
Buildings that are designed following the principles of Organic Architecture are envisioned as a unified organism. This style is inspired by nature, and thus its forms are organic and curvy. The selection of building materials and sustainability of the building play an important role. The fluidity of space is another important element. In the Organic architectural style, designs must be clear with a uniform scheme.
The Fallingwater in Pennsylvania, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, is a perfect example of Organic Architecture.DECONSTRUCTIVISM
Deconstructivism as a style has gained popularity during the second half of the ‘80s. This weird looking, highly creative concept was quickly accepted worldwide.
The style is known for surface manipulation together with everything but simple and clean forms. Shapes are usually distorted and seldom rectilinear. Traditional ideas of harmony and continuity are rejected, and elements that contradict each other are juxtaposed purposely. The main intention is to break all bonds with traditional architectural approaches.
This style was frequently criticised as its emphasis was always on form rather than practicality and functionality. Frank Gehry’s Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein built in 1989 is a great example of this architectural approach.NEO-EXPRESSIONISM
Neo-Expressionism is a style that first emerged in the 1950s. It was heavily influenced by the German Expressionist movement from the beginning of the 20th century.
There is a strong rejection of the ideals that Mies van der Rohe was teaching. Neo-expressionists believe that architecture is meant to evoke emotion rather than intellectual reaction. In Neo-Expressionism, buildings are dramatic and sculpture like. The accent is on curved and organic forms and strict and rectilinear forms are rejected. Experimental materials such as plastics, concrete and glass are widely used.
Neo-Expressionism has its followers in the architectural world. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain is probably one of the best illustrations of this architectural style.LATE MODERNISM
Functionality and minimalism are important aspects of Late Modernism. However, some elements like glass blocks, belt courses and radial corners were introduced in the later version of Modernism.
It was in 1950’s when this branch of modernism first emerged. Late Modernism was dramatic and full of sculptural impressions. Functional features were highlighted and used as decorative elements; mainly rectangular forms, ribbon windows, flat roofs and industrial materials.
The building of Georges Pompidou in Paris was designed by Renzo Piano, one of the greatest names of 20th century architecture. This cultural centre is one of the most emblematic buildings in Paris today, and is a great example of Late Modernism.
The 20th century was rich in diverse architectural styles, concepts, new emerging materials, and technologies. Some of them were adopted around the world like the International Style while others were predominantly local like Googie.
We have only scratched the surface with our brief article, covering only the most emblematic aspects of each style. If you would like to know more, we would like to encourage you to keep exploring, and gathering information about the style of your preference. Good luck!