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Architectural style

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Architect's Dream by Thomas Cole (1840) shows a vision of buildings in the historical styles of the Western tradition, from Ancient Egypt through to Classical Revival
The Architect's Dream by Thomas Cole (1840) shows a vision of buildings in the historical styles of the Western tradition, from Ancient Egypt through to Classical Revival

An architectural style is characterized by the features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, building materials, and regional character. Most architecture can be classified within a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology, or materials which make new styles possible.

Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society. They are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. The new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism (meaning "after modernism"), which has in recent years[timeframe?] found its own language and split into a number of styles which have acquired other names.

Styles often spread to other places, so that the style at its source continues to develop in new ways while other countries follow with their own twist. For instance, Renaissance ideas emerged in Italy around 1425 and spread to all of Europe over the next 200 years, with the French, Belgian, German, English, and Spanish Renaissances showing recognisably the same style, but with unique characteristics. A style may also spread through colonialism, either by foreign colonies learning from their home country, or by settlers moving to a new land. One example is the Spanish missions in California, brought by Spanish priests in the late 18th century and built in a unique style.

After a style has gone out of fashion, revivals and re-interpretations may occur. For instance, classicism has been revived many times and found new life as neoclassicism. Each time it is revived, it is different. The Spanish mission style was revived 100 years later as the Mission Revival, and that soon evolved into the Spanish Colonial Revival.

Vernacular architecture is listed separately. As vernacular architecture is better understood as suggestive of culture, writ broadly (as well as a theory and a process rather than a thing-in-itself), it technically can encompass every architectural style--or none at all. In and of itself, vernacular architecture is not a style.[1]

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  • ✪ A sampling of Architectural Styles
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So what does it mean to know architectural styles? There are many many, many architectural styles. So we cannot cover them all here. What I want to do instead is, I want to mention a few of those. And then I want to go in more depth, on one of them. So the first item I want to mention is pipes and filters. And pipes and filters indicate an architectural style in which a chain of processing elements, which can be processes, threads, co-routines, is arranged so that the output of each element is the input of the next one and usually with some buffering in between consecutive elements. A typical example of this, if you're familiar with Unix are Unix pipes, that you can use to concatenate Unix commands. Another style I want to mention is the event driven one. An event driven system typically consists of event emittors, like the alarm over here, and event consumers, like the fire truck, down here, and consumers are notified when events of interest occurr and have the responsibility of reacting to those events. A typical example will be a GUI, in which widgets generate events and listeners listen to those events and react to them. For example, they react to the push of a button. A very commonly used architectural style is Publish-subscribe, represented by the paper boy. Over here. And this is an architectural style in which senders of messages, they're called publishers, do not send messages directly to specific recievers. Instead, they publish messages with one or more associated texts without knowledge of who will receive such messages. Similarly subscribers will express interest in one or more tags. And will only receive messages of interest according to such tags. A typical example of a publish-subscribe system, will be Twitter. And I'm pretty sure that most of you are familiar with the client-server architecture. In which computers in a network, assume one of two roles. The server provides the resources and functionality. And the client initiates contact with the server, and requests the use of those resources and functionality. Also in this case, a typical example would be email, in which an email server provides email storage and management capabilities, and an email client will use those capabilities. You may also be familiar with peer-to-peer, or P2P, systems. A P2P system is a type of decentralized and distributed network system in which individual nodes in the network, that are called peers, act as independent agents that are both suppliers and consumers of resources. This is in contrast to the centralized client-server model, where client nodes interact with the central authority. And I'm not going to say anything more about peer-to-peer, because I'm going to show you two examples, of peer-to-peer systems in the rest of the lesson. And you probably have at least heard of rest. Which in this case is not an invitation to relax as the graphic might indicate. But rather stands for Representational State Transfer. REST is a hybrid architectural style for distributed hypermedia systems, that is derived from several other network based architectural styles. And that is characterized by uniform connector interface, and even if I'm not going to say anything else about the rest, I wanted to mention it, because it is an extremely well known architectural style. And the reason for this is that REST is very widely used, because it is basically the architectural style that governs the world wide web. So we use it all the time when we browse the internet, for instance.


History of the concept of architectural style

Constructing schemes of the period styles of historic art and architecture was a major concern of 19th century scholars in the new and initially mostly German-speaking field of art history. Important writers on the broad theory of style including Carl Friedrich von Rumohr, Gottfried Semper, and Alois Riegl in his Stilfragen of 1893, with Heinrich Wölfflin and Paul Frankl continued the debate into the 20th century.[2] Paul Jacobsthal and Josef Strzygowski are among the art historians who followed Riegl in proposing grand schemes tracing the transmission of elements of styles across great ranges in time and space. This type of art history is also known as formalism, or the study of forms or shapes in art.

Semper, Wölfflin, and Frankl, and later Ackerman, had backgrounds in the history of architecture, and like many other terms for period styles, "Romanesque" and "Gothic" were initially coined to describe architectural styles, where major changes between styles can be clearer and more easy to define, not least because style in architecture is easier to replicate by following a set of rules than style in figurative art such as painting. Terms originated to describe architectural periods were often subsequently applied to other areas of the visual arts, and then more widely still to music, literature and the general culture.[3] In architecture stylistic change often follows, and is made possible by, the discovery of new techniques or materials, from the Gothic rib vault to modern metal and reinforced concrete construction. A major area of debate in both art history and archaeology has been the extent to which stylistic change in other fields like painting or pottery is also a response to new technical possibilities, or has its own impetus to develop (the kunstwollen of Riegl), or changes in response to social and economic factors affecting patronage and the conditions of the artist, as current thinking tends to emphasize, using less rigid versions of Marxist art history.[4]

Although style was well-established as a central component of art historical analysis, seeing it as the over-riding factor in art history had fallen out of fashion by World War II, as other ways of looking at art were developing,[5] and a reaction against the emphasis on style developing; for Svetlana Alpers, "the normal invocation of style in art history is a depressing affair indeed".[6] According to James Elkins "In the later 20th century criticisms of style were aimed at further reducing the Hegelian elements of the concept while retaining it in a form that could be more easily controlled".[7]


The rhyolitic tuff portal of the "church house" at Colditz Castle, Saxony, designed by Andreas Walther II (1584), is an example of the exuberance of "Antwerp Mannerism".
The rhyolitic tuff portal of the "church house" at Colditz Castle, Saxony, designed by Andreas Walther II (1584), is an example of the exuberance of "Antwerp Mannerism".
Town Hall of Zamość by Bernardo Morando.
Town Hall of Zamość by Bernardo Morando.

While many architectural styles explore harmonious ideals, Mannerism wants to take style a step further and explores the aesthetics of hyperbole and exaggeration.[8] Mannerism is notable for its intellectual sophistication as well as its artificial (as opposed to naturalistic) qualities.[9] Mannerism favours compositional tension and instability rather than balance and clarity.[10] The definition of Mannerism, and the phases within it, continues to be the subject of debate among art historians.

An example of mannerist architecture is the Villa Farnese at Caprarola[11] in the rugged country side outside of Rome. The proliferation of engravers during the 16th century spread Mannerist styles more quickly than any previous styles. A center of Mannerist design was Antwerp during its 16th-century boom. Through Antwerp, Renaissance and Mannerist styles were widely introduced in England, Germany, and northern and eastern Europe in general. Dense with ornament of "Roman" detailing, the display doorway at Colditz Castle exemplifies this northern style, characteristically applied as an isolated "set piece" against unpretentious vernacular walling. During the Mannerist Renaissance period, architects experimented with using architectural forms to emphasize solid and spatial relationships. The Renaissance ideal of harmony gave way to freer and more imaginative rhythms. The best known architect associated with the Mannerist style was Michelangelo (1475–1564), who is credited with inventing the giant order, a large pilaster that stretches from the bottom to the top of a façade.[12] He used this in his design for the Campidoglio in Rome.

Prior to the 20th century, the term Mannerism had negative connotations, but it is now used to describe the historical period in more general non-judgmental terms.[13]

See also


  1. ^ J. Philip Gruen, “Vernacular Architecture,” in Encyclopedia of Local History, 3d edition, ed. Amy H. Wilson (Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2017): 697-98.
  2. ^ Elkins, s. 2, 3
  3. ^ Gombrich, 129; Elsner, 104
  4. ^ Gombrich, 131-136; Elkins, s. 2
  5. ^ Kubler in Lang, 163
  6. ^ Alpers in Lang, 137
  7. ^ Elkins, s. 2 (quoted); see also Gombrich, 135-136
  8. ^ Gombrich, E H. The Story of Art London:Phaidon Press Ltd, ISBN 0-7148-3247-2
  9. ^ "Mannerism: Bronzino (1503–1572) and his Contemporaries". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved 2013-05-19.
  10. ^ Art and Illusion, E. H. Gombrich, ISBN 9780691070001
  11. ^ Coffin David, The Villa in the Life of Renaissance Rome, Princeton University Press, 1979: 281-5
  12. ^ [verification needed]Mark Jarzombek, "Pilaster Play" (PDF), Thresholds, 28 (Winter 2005): 34–41
  13. ^ Arnold Hauser. Mannerism: The Crisis of the Renaissance and the Origins of Modern Art. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press,1965).


This page was last edited on 11 March 2019, at 13:45
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