The time is now, literally; we finally made it to the present in our architectural history tour! Can you believe it? If you follow along with our blog series, you’ve probably noticed that Mackenzie, Janelle, and I have been exploring architectural history for the last two years. We’ve discussed everything from how 750BCE Rome is actually modern design, to the seven ways Victorian architecture tried to kill people, to why we should love Brutalism (it’s okay, I find it difficult too). So, what have we discovered?

Repetition, Repetition, Repetition … Wait, are you copying me?

collage of classically designed architecture
All these styles, so little variety! Georgian, Federalist, Neoclassical, Greek Revival, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and a special meme from Janelle!

Do you know that moment of madness when one child starts mimicking another, and they both end up yelling “Stop copying me!” at each other? That’s how we feel about quite a few of the styles we’ve talked about in this series. Revivalism, and the need to copy the past, is a driving force in architectural history. Even in super modern architecture many of the design decisions can be linked to Greek or Roman influences.  

Does anyone have the time?

Given our timeline for this blog spanned nearly three millennia, it’s no wonder we find it difficult to remember what style belonged to which time period. It also doesn’t help that styles are cyclical (ugh, Revivalism!!), and two buildings could be built centuries apart but look eerily similar. So if you’re still confused, that’s okay. So are we. 

So Much More!!

collage of buildings from Asia, Africa and the Middle East
Top Left to Right: Nijō Castle 1679 (Kyoto, Japan); Lahore Fort 1566 (Lahore, Pakistan); Izmaylovo District Wooden Architecture Reconstruction (Moscow, Russia); Jamia Masjid Gulbarga 1367 (Gulbarga, India); Bottom Left to Right: Patwon Ji Ki Haveli by Guman Chand Patwa 1805 (Jaisalmer, India); Pakistan Monument by Arif Masoud 2007 (Islamabad, Pakistan); Cathedral of Brasília by Oscar Niemeyer 1970 (Brasília, Brazil); King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center by Zaha Hadid Architects 2017 (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

There are so many architectural styles we didn’t cover in this series. Our efforts focused on the major Western European and American movements, and we didn’t even cover all of those! Architecture takes its own unique path through time depending on where we are looking at the globe. We could spend the next decade (or more) walking through the architectural styles of Asia, Africa, South America, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

No, really. We’re done. 

Styles ebb and flow, building on each other through time. To create good architecture for today, maybe we shouldn’t try to recreate what our predecessors did. We should build upon what they discovered, trying out our own new discoveries and creating ideas unique to our current needs while continuing to create designs that enhance and benefit the human experience. 

That’s All Folks.

Have Questions? Get In Touch.

Back to Top