Different Styles of Architecture

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Each civilization, at different times in history, built architectural projects based on its own elements. The inspiration for these particularities is in the culture, tradition and way of life of the respective societies.

Modern architecture

Wojciech Odrobina

Modernism was a set of artistic-cultural movements that emerged in the early twentieth century and also influenced the architectural style of the time.

The buildings were inspired by the spirit of the industrial revolution, which peaked. The architects gave preference to the use of iron, glass and reinforced concrete as the main materials of their works.

Industrial drawings had simple, geometric shapes and, unlike classical architecture, with little or no ornamentation.

Wojciech Odrobina

The priority was in the functionality of the buildings, that is, the way in which they could be integrated into urban life and people's daily lives.

It was also noted that the advances in modern architecture that built the world's first skyscraper. This type of construction is undoubtedly one of the greatest landmarks of that architectural style.

Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier and Lina Bo Bardi can be considered some of the most important architects of modernism.

Contemporary architecture

Many people confuse the modern architectural style with the contemporary, mainly because they believe that the term "modern" is synonymous with contemporary. In reality, both are different and portray different periods.

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The so-called contemporary architecture consists of a set of different style references. This is the reflection of one of the most prominent features of postmodernity: pluralism.

Contemporary architects prioritize the use of natural light and, mainly, the integration of construction with the environment, without causing negative impacts for the local biome.

The works generally have an irregular shape, with large medium-sized windows that they use to obtain greater natural light), and by the use of recyclable materials.

This style also tends to incorporate new technologies, such as the Internet of things, creating a direct communication relationship between people and the building.

Roman architecture

Wojciech Odrobina

With the influence of the architecture of the Greeks and Etruscans, the Roman is part of the classic phase of architectural styles.

Roman architects saw the need to express through their works an idealization of beauty, but also represent the reality lived by citizens.

Unlike Greek architecture, it maintained its constructions predominantly in urban areas. The planning of temples, hot springs, aqueducts and amphitheaters was common.

Aesthetically, which has a Roman architecture is the appreciation of the arches, a legacy of the Etruscans. In addition, the constructions used to have large vaults and internal spaces free of columns.

Greek architecture

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Greek architecture, famous for its great works, reached its peak in the Pericles government, especially in Athens.

The great names of the Greek architecture were Ictinio and Calícrates, responsible for the construction of several monuments. The temples were the main works, built in carved stone, so adjusted that they dispensed mortar.

One of the main features of this style is the use of columns. These were divided into three different architectural models, either by form and figure.

Gothic architecture

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The rise of Gothic architecture was between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. However, this architectural style was only known as "Gothic" from the fifteenth century, by the Renaissance.

Gothic architecture flourished in the middle of the renaissance of commerce (late Middle Ages), when cities began to grow.

The main constructions of the time were the churches, which gathered some of the strongest characteristics of the Gothic period:

• ogival arches.

• bovedas formed by a set of ogival arches.

• facades with three arches.

• branching.

These structural innovations have allowed, for the first time, buildings could have greater verticality. That is why Gothic cathedrals are known for their imposing vertical elevation.

In addition, Gothic architecture also highly valued decorative facades. The use of expressive sculptures, slits, balustrades rich in details and stained glass / pinkish colors was common.

Renaissance architecture

It was more representative between the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, a period in which European society suffered intense ideological transformations.

Renaissance architecture was opposed to the Gothic style (considered very ugly). On the other hand, he valued aspects that referred to the concepts of anthropocentrism, symmetrical perfection with rigorous proportions and the «Man-Reason».

Wojciech Odrobina

Among some of the main aesthetic features of Renaissance architecture, the following stand out:

• Valuation of symmetry.

• Horizontality in the form.

• Columns supported by mules.

• Alternation of pediments.

• Semicircular arches.

• Valuation of delicate and articulated strokes.

Sustainable architecture

Wojciech Odrobina

Considered a strong aspect in contemporary architecture, the sustainable architectural style began to become popular between the 1980s and 1990s.

As the name implies, architects seek to ensure environmental sustainability, making buildings do not cause negative impacts on nature.

For this, there are some principles that characterize sustainable architecture, such as:

•Planning of the work based on all the natural envelope (ecosystems, hydrography, geology, etc.), as well as the local climatic conditions.

•Reduce the consumption of energy spent on the site to the maximum, prioritizing the use of clean / renewable energy sources.

•Use of ecological, recycled and regional materials (avoids environmental wear and tear that material transport could cause)

Ensure that the final work is integrated with the environment:

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• Ensure water savings during the construction of the building, as well as provide adequate infrastructure so that the building is able to save water (install timers / sensors in taps and showers, for example)

• Ensure that the construction produces energy in a sustainable way (installation of solar panels).

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