Are you into modernism or do you also like historical architectural styles?


Just what the thread asked:  do you primarily concern yourself with modernism and current movements in architecture, or are you also fascinated by historical architectural styles?  If you like historical architectural styles, which ones do you like?

I primarily like modernist architecture, liking some works and detesting others.  Modernist architecture is very liberating in that it frees you from rules and nuisances.  The chief nuisance is a pitched roof, because getting it right ripples through the elevations and the floor plans.  The rules I refer to are the rules of thumb to proportion historically based elements.

On the other hand, I really like Renaissance, Baroque, and French Second Empire works, though I think that designing in such styles could be hit or miss - a good rendition ... or one that is clumsy and heavy handed.

Sep 7, 13 12:39 am
Tinbeary There there

I like all of the "styles", except maybe Po-mo (post-modern). I held my breath while designing a building in Spanish missionary style and felt so silly doing it until it won an award, then I felt even sillier.

Also designed an olden timey building (a mock of 1890's-ish western frontier store) that won a competition.

There is no question that people like recognizable styles. I prefer contemporary or eclectic personally.

Sep 7, 13 9:25 am


Obviously, I'm into (creating) 'dys' architecture styles: dyskenesic architecture, dyslexic architecture, dyslalic architecture. Hopefully, I'll continue to design even more dys-architecture styles.


Sep 7, 13 10:35 am
Tinbeary There there

Quondom, do you have any built work?

Sep 7, 13 11:16 am

In some places Modern 1930-1970s is a historical style. Contemporary is a more appropriate term for what we see in architectural record covers today. I think there is no rigid cannon dominating global architecture with a rigid dogma such as the International style a classic example of Modern or Modernist architecture. The only exception may be the New Urbanist which often promote an eclectic historical revival in architecture and urban planning. Nothing wrong with looking back to the 18th century for ideas but I don't like it when it gets to the point of monotony and stifles creativity and variety. Not all of us want to live in an antebellum world having everything as it was in the past.

There was a while where Green architecture almost had a sense of a unique style,sunshades and passive solar were used expressively and greatly influenced the massing and even the details of many built buildings.

We have a huge selection of new and developing abilities and this will enable new and hopefully interesting styles of architecture. just as the industrial revolution changed architecture in the past new technology will continue to change architecture now and into the future. I am all for creative freedom.

Over and OUT

Peter N

Sep 7, 13 12:26 pm

Although licensed as an architect, built architecture has never been my vocation.

My architectural legacy is Quondam, a virtual museum of architecture. That's the only architecture I design, direct, curate and 'build'. 

their is no their, do you have any architectural legacy?


Sep 7, 13 2:39 pm

Do you pay your registration fees every year?

Sep 8, 13 9:18 pm

I like all types of architecture, because as Mies van der Rohe said- "architecture is the will of an epoch translated into space." 

However, I will make the following point(s) about the word "style": aside from being a derivative of the latin stilus, the word used to describe the writing utensil ancients used to write cuneiform with on their stone tablets, the word inherently retains a nuance of the idea of "fashion." Moreover, the word "fashion," according to the online etymological dictionary comes from factionem, meaning "group of people acting together." Ironically, as a group of people act together and function as a society or culture, they develop a culture composed of customs, and it is precisely this word- custom - that I would like to highlight. Again, according to the above-mentioned dictionary, the word custom, derives from the Latin consuetudinem, meaning "habit, usage, way, practice, tradition, familiarity." 

I made the effort to trace the etymology of each of these words to offer the following (and closing) argument as a response to the above question: when speaking of whether or not you like one style or another, you must make a distinction of whether you prefer to express your talents and skill as an architect in that particular style, or whether you like to take it for what it is as a passe or historic example of architectural expression.

Personally, I prefer to practice architecture with contemporary vocabulary because that is how I was trained and that is what most of my prospective clients are used to seeing. Collectively, we have developed the habit of "stylizing" our architecture according to the current will of the epoch. That is not to say though that if I were to take on a preservation project that I would ignore the traditional context... But to just elaborate on the above point- I would never opt to design a ground-up building using a pastiche as a design technique... I think Las Vegas does that a lot and it looks super cheesy... 

Sep 8, 13 10:43 pm
Tinbeary There there

Quondom, I am not in traditional practice anymore either. Don't do paper architecture either. So, no, no legacy. I guess. Not sure what you are asking, rhetorical perhaps? I like your drawings anyways.

Sep 9, 13 7:11 am
Tinbeary There there

Bulgar, there was a thread here about a week ago talking about the body's mirror neurons (or system). Since then, I have been seeing a lot of reflections around us, factions of style and culture. The etymology of reflection shows that it comes from "a bending back". Culture is bending and reflecting, like a one dimensional path on a tightly wound Mobius strip.

Sep 9, 13 7:33 am

registration fees are easy.  it's the CEUs that suck when trying to keep a license up.

Sep 9, 13 7:41 am

I don't kiss and tell about my architectural practices on the first date.

Sep 9, 13 9:07 am

How many dates does it take?

Sep 9, 13 9:54 am

MCM and Usonian Architecture are what gets my blood a-pumpin'...always has.


Sep 9, 13 5:26 pm

All historical styles were modern in their day.

Sep 9, 13 6:20 pm


So, then, in a way, this equates to asking whether or not we liked the thought processes and values of an era.  In essence, post-modernism commemorated the '80s, when pop culture looked to movies like "Wall Street" (circa 1984) for a normative point of reference.  Wow, who was the lesser of two evils:  the hippies of the '60s or the yuppies of the '80s?

It would have been interesting to see what fueled the "conversion" from simpler more rectilinear Renaissance works to more ornate and curvaceous Baroque works.  Was there an increase in wealth or decadence, or were they just bored and needed to push the stylistic envelope to another level?

Sep 9, 13 9:57 pm

An increase in wealth IS an increase in decadence.

Interesting parallel to this thread is What is an ethical building

Sep 10, 13 10:29 am

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