15 Top Architectural Styles (2023)

The built environment is a rich and varied architectural tapestry with overlapping styles and movements that have often traveled around the world, adapting themselves to different climates, landscapes and cultural needs. Here is a rundown of 15 popular architectural styles throughout history.

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    Classical Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (1)

    An umbrella term that refers to the building styles that originated in ancient Greece and Rome, classical architecture has influenced centuries of subsequent design movements throughout the world, including Neoclassical and Greek Revival architecture. Some of the most famous buildings in the modern world are based on ancient Greek and Roman designs. Classical architecture focuses on symmetry and proportions; columns with Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian detailing; the use of materials such as marble, brick, and concrete; and classical design motifs such as interior molding, medium pitched roofs, boxed eaves, decorative door surrounds, and broken pediments over the entry door.

    While classical architecture was largely replaced by modernism and contemporary architecture in the 20th century, classical architecture continues to be built in what has been rebranded as "new classical" style.

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    Neoclassical Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (2)

    Neoclassical architecture refers to a style of buildings constructed during the revival of Classical Greek and Roman architecture that began around 1750 and flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries. Whereas Greek Revival architecture utilizes classical elements, such as columns with Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian details, neoclassicism is characterized by a more whole-scale revival of entire and often grand-scale classical volumes.

    Some of the most famous and easily recognizable institutional and government buildings in Europe and the United States are neoclassical in style, such as the White House and U.S. Capitol building.

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    Greek Revival Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (3)

    Greek Revival architecture is inspired by the symmetry, proportion, simplicity, and elegance of the ancient Greek temples of 5th century B.C. In the U.S., Greek Revival reached peak popularity from 1825 to 1860, and became the first dominant national style of architecture in the U.S. as it spread from the East Coast across the country to the West Coast, leaving state capitol buildings, banks, New England churches, urban row houses, galleried cottages, and southern plantation houses in its wake.

    Inspired by the birthplace of democracy, Americans borrowed classical elements to design buildings for what was then a still new democracy, such as columns with Doric, Ionic, or Corinthian details, painted white to mimic the marble used in ancient Greece; gently sloping roofs with gable fronts; and elaborate door surrounds. Interiors featured simple, fairly open layouts; graceful proportions; tall parlor floor windows and doors; ornate plasterwork ceilings; plain plaster walls; wide plank floors; and ornate ceiling mantels.

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    (Video) 15 Top Architectural Styles 🛋️
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    Industrial Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (4)

    An umbrella term used to describe buildings constructed to facilitate the needs of industry, industrial architecture encompasses a range of building types and styles that mix functionality and design and can be found all over the industrialized world, such as factories, warehouses, foundries, steel mills, water towers, grain silos, distilleries, breweries, refineries, power plants, and other utilitarian structures. The first industrial buildings were constructed in the 1700s during the first Industrial Revolution that took place mainly in Britain from about 1760 to 1840.

    But today when we reference industrial architecture, we are mostly referring to the buildings that emerged as a response to the widespread use of new materials such as metal and concrete as well as mass production methods brought on by the Second Industrial Revolution of the late 19th and early 20th century, and which formed the building blocks for Modern Architecture. Features of industrial architecture may include large, open floor plans; high ceilings; raw rough materials such as concrete, brick, and metal; lack of ornamentation on building façade; exposed brick, ductwork and piping; and large metal-grid windows.

    What Is Industrial Architecture?

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    Bauhaus Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (5)

    Bauhaus architecture came out of the influential German school founded by Walter Gropius (1883-1969) in the early 20th century, which had a utopian aim to create a radically new form of architecture and design to help rebuild society after World War I. By synthesizing fine arts, crafts, design, architecture, and technology, the Bauhaus promoted rational, functional design that embraced a form follows function, less is more ethos.

    Not all Bauhaus buildings look alike, but in general they eschew ornamentation to focus on simple, rational, functional design; use simple geometric forms such as the triangle, square, and circle; asymmetry; use of modern materials such as steel, glass, concrete; flat roofs; glass curtain walls; smooth façades. Bauhaus developed into the International Style when Gropius and other prominent members of the Bauhaus emigrated to the U.S. in the 1930s and later influenced the development of modernism in the 1950s and '60s.Bauhaus architecture and design principles still influence the shape and look of everyday objects.

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    Victorian Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (6)

    The term Victorian architecture refers not to a particular style but to an era—the reign of Queen Victoria from 1837 to 1901. The style originated in England and still largely defines the architecture of its cities and towns, but varying styles of Victorian era architecture spread to places like North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Victorian era architecture is marked by its unapologetic devotion to ornament and its ornate interior design. Some features that will help you spot a Victorian from the outside include: steeply pitched roofs; plain or colorfully painted brick; ornate gables; rooftop finials; sliding sash and bay windows; octagonal or round towers; and generous wraparound porches. Interiors often include grand staircases; complicated layouts; high ceilings; intricately carved wood paneling; and decorative fireplaces.

    (Video) 40 Types of Architecture styles.

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    Arts and Crafts Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (7)

    The Arts and Crafts movement was a reaction to the ornate and mass produced styles of Victorian architecture that embraced handcrafted design and the use of natural materials such as stone, brick, wood, and hammered copper and bronze metalwork detailing. Originating in Great Britain in the mid 19th-century, the Arts and Crafts movement migrated to the U.S. in the beginning of the 20th century, encompassing architecture, interior design, textiles, fine art and more. Many architectural styles came out of the Arts and Crafts movement, including the popular Craftsman and Bungalow-style homes, simple, thoughtfully made structures originally designed for working class families.

    Arts and Crafts-style homes are symmetrical; low to the ground; designed for efficiency and minimal upkeep; often feature large fireplaces; low-pitched roofs with wide overhangs; exposed interior beams; built-in bookshelves, window seats and cabinets; and multiple windows with small panes; prominent porches; and open floor plans.

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  • 08 of 15

    Cape Cod Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (8)

    Cape Cod architecture is named after the Massachusetts coastal region where it is the signature style.Homey and effortlessly appealing, Cape Cod houses have simple, timeless clean-lined silhouettes, with elements such as oak and pine wood post and beam framing and wood flooring; brick fireplaces; and clapboard or cedar shake roof and side shingles.

    English colonists in the 17th century first adapted English half-timber hall and parlor houses to suit the bitter New England climate, creating a boxier, lower slung silhouette to stand up to the elements. A second wave known as Cape Cod Revival in the 1920s to the 1950s helped popularize the style, which spread across the United States, and became an economical solution during both the Depression and the post-war housing boom of the 1940s and '50s. Even in super-sized 21st-century America, Cape Cod style homes retain a nostalgic popular appeal with new builds of all sizes today, from sprawling homes to tiny houses.

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    Tudor Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (9)

    Originating in England during the Tudor period starting in 1485, Tudor architecture evokes storybook cottages and old-world charm. Tudor homes were built by craftsmen who combined Renaissance and Gothic design elements to create a transitional style that spread throughout England until it was supplanted by Elizabethan architecture in 1560. Tudor style was reborn in the United States in the 1890s and remained popular through the 1940s. Tudor homes feature signature half-timber detailing, long vertically placed decorative wood beams that create a two-toned exterior. However, Tudor Revival homes often eschewed this original Tudor look for red-toned brick with ornate detailing around windows, chimneys, and entryways.

    (Video) Why Building Styles DON’T MATTER

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    Art Deco Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (10)

    Art Deco architecture is part of the Art Deco movement, an inventive design period in the U.S. and Europe in the 1920s and 30s that spanned the realms of fashion, art, homewares, and building styles throughout the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression. The earliest examples of Art Deco architecture can be found in Paris, France, before the style spread to the United States in the 1930s, influencing the skyline of Manhattan forever with now iconic skyscrapers such as the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and the Chrysler building.

    Art Deco buildings utilize materials like stucco, terracotta, decorative glass, chrome, steel, and aluminum. They feature ornate, geometric detailing such as chevrons, pyramids, stylized sunbursts or florals, zig-zags, and other geometric shapes. Many Art Deco buildings feature bright, opulent colors accented with contrasting black, white, gold or silver. And they often feature fragmented triangular shapes; decorative, geometric windows; parapets and spires.

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    Modern Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (11)

    Modern architecture refers to the style of architecture that flourished in the early to mid 20th century. Rejecting the ornamental styles of the recent past, modern architecture favors clean lines; functional design; open floor plans; built-in storage; a focus on materials such as steel, concrete, iron, glass, wood, brick, and stone; and a focus on integrating architecture into the natural landscape while bringing the outdoors inside with the use of large windows to let in natural light and air.

    Modern architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright redefined a new world of architecture with form follows function design, and a host of mid-century designers transformed the built landscape and the world of interior design with mid-century modern furniture that continues to be wildly popular today.

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    Brutalist Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (12)

    Brutalist architecture (1950s-1970s) is characterized by simple, block-like, hulking concrete structures (the term is a play on the French phrase for raw concrete, béton brut). With simple, graphic lines, a heavy appearance, a monochromatic palette, and a lack of ornamentation, Brutalism is a bold, in-your-face and eternally polarizing style. An offshoot of modernism, brutalist architecture became a popular if perennially controversial choice for institutional buildings around the world before fading out in the 1980s, giving way to the postmodernism and today’s contemporary styles. But the style's influence can be seen in contemporary product and interior design, furniture, objects, and web design.

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    Contemporary Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (13)

    Contemporary architecture is a blanket phrase that comprises a range of present day building styles that often look radically different from one another and sometimes from anything that has come before. Contemporary architecture followed the modern period of the first half of the 20th century and the postmodern period through the 90s. Using innovative materials and building methods such as computer-generated curves, laser-cutting technology, and 3D printing, contemporary architects often embrace rounded forms, curved lines, unconventional volumes, asymmetry, and open floor plans. Sustainability is an important feature of contemporary architecture.

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    Beaux-Arts Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (14)

    Beaux-Arts architecture is a building style that emerged from Paris’ École des Beaux-Arts in the late 1800s and spread to the US during the Gilded Age. Beaux-Arts buildings are grandiose, theatrical, highly ornate buildings that are inspired by Roman and Greek classicism and inspired by French and Italian Renaissance and Baroque building styles, such as the Musée D'Orsay.

    Notable American architects such as Richard Morris, HH Richardson and Charles McKim trained at the Beaux-Arts school in Paris, and Beaux-Arts style was embraced for major building projects in the US, such as the Library of Congress in Washington D.C. and prominent buildings such as Grand Central Terminal and the New York Public Library’s main branch in NYC. Beaux-Arts architecture faded around 1930 with the onset of the Depression rendering such over-the-top displays of opulence as out of touch and obsolete.

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    Italianate Architecture

    15 Top Architectural Styles (15)

    Italianate architecture refers to a particular 19th-century style of building that was inspired by 16th century Italian Renaissance architecture combined with picturesque influences that featured architectural elements from a romanticized past that broke some of the strict rules around formal classical architecture.

    The Italianate style was born in 1802 when architect John Nash built the first Italianate villa in England, Cronkhill in Shropshire, and was promoted by the work of Sir Charles Barry in the 1830s. The style spread throughout Northern Europe, the British Empire and the US from the late 1840s to 1890. It was a hugely popular building choice used in both rural and urban settings in the US in the 1860s after the Civil War.

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24 Popular Types of Architectural House Styles


How many types of architectural styles are there? ›

The Characteristics of 12 Architectural Styles From Antiquity to the Present Day.

What are the 8 types of architecture? ›

8 Different Types Of Architects
  • Commercial Architect. ...
  • Residential Architect. ...
  • Sustainable / Green Design Architect. ...
  • Industrial Architect. ...
  • Conservation Architect. ...
  • Landscape Architect. ...
  • Urban Designer. ...
  • Interior Architect.
Sep 28, 2021

What are some examples of architectural styles? ›

Top 8 architectural styles that can easily be recognised
  • Greek and Roman Classical Architecture. ...
  • Gothic Architecture. ...
  • Baroque. ...
  • Neoclassical Architecture. ...
  • Victorian Architecture. ...
  • Modern Architecture. ...
  • Post-Modern Architecture. ...
  • Neofuturist Architecture.

What are the 5 basic architectural? ›

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) defines Five Phases of Architecture that are commonly referred to throughout the industry: Schematic Design, Design Development, Contract Documents, Bidding, Contract Administration.

What architectural style is popular now? ›

The current century sees contemporary architecture as its prevailing style. The unique feature of this style is that no single trend is dominant. Modern steel and glass skyscrapers tower over traditional structures, if not harmoniously, then at least without much discord.

What are the 3 main types of architecture? ›

  • Environmental Design.
  • Interior Architecture.
  • Landscape Architecture.

What are the six 6 essential site elements architecture? ›

In many design professions, including Landscape Architecture, there are elements that form the foundation of all good design. For us, those six elements are line, form, sound, fragrances, color, and texture. Lines play a major role in any garden, whether actual or implied.

What are the 7 principles of architecture? ›

Seven principles encompass an interesting design.
  • Balance.
  • Rhythm.
  • Emphasis.
  • Proportion and scale.
  • Movement.
  • Contrast.
  • Unity.

What is a level 7 architect? ›

Working on the design of new buildings and the redesign of existing buildings. Qualification level 7. Equivalent to master's degree. Typical duration 48 months.

What are the 2 styles of architecture called? ›

While classical architecture was largely replaced by modernism and contemporary architecture in the 20th century, classical architecture continues to be built in what has been rebranded as "new classical" style.

How many house styles are there? ›

Here's the inside scoop on what it's actually like to live in these 14 different styles of homes.
  • Ranch.
  • Classical.
  • Bungalow/Beach house.
  • Modern/Contemporary.
  • Cabin/Cottage.
  • Farmhouse.
  • Mediterranean/Spanish.
  • Pueblo Revival/Southwestern/Adobe.
Mar 2, 2021

What is the most common house style in America? ›

Ranch Style

Ranch house styles are the most searched style in the US today and are common in cities and suburbs across the country. There are various ranch house styles, including California and split-level ranch homes. The main distinguishing features between these styles are living space and home layout.

What are the 3 important elements of architecture? ›

Writing near the end of the first century B.C.E., Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio identified three elements necessary for a well-designed building: firmitas, utilitas, and venustas.

What are the 7 stages of construction? ›

Here's the process:
  • Step 1: Design. During this phase, the client places a project for bidding. ...
  • Step 2: Pre-Construction. ...
  • Step 3: Procurement. ...
  • Step 4: Construction. ...
  • Step 5: Commissioning. ...
  • Step 6: Owner Occupancy. ...
  • Step 7: Project Closeout.

What are the 3 styles in contemporary architecture? ›

Contemporary architects work in several different styles, from postmodernism, high-tech architecture and new interpretations of traditional architecture to highly conceptual forms and designs, resembling sculpture on an enormous scale.

What is the architectural style of 2022? ›

Sustainability, responsible use of materials, and the rise of the 'biophilic design' trend are predicted to be the leading design trends of 2022.

What are the 4 layers of architecture? ›

Although the layered architecture pattern does not specify the number and types of layers that must exist in the pattern, most layered architectures consist of four standard layers: presentation, business, persistence, and database (Figure 1-1).

What are the five structural systems of architecture? ›

There are five basic structure or framing types and an assortment of alternative structural systems: (1) wall-bearing, (2) reinforced concrete, (3) structural steel, (4) a combination of these types, and (5) tensile structures.

What are the 10 fundamental elements of architecture? ›

Key Terms: Elements of Architecture
  • Scale & Proportion. Scale refers to a building's size in relation to its surroundings and other objects, including the human body. ...
  • Balance. One way to consider balance in architecture is to examine a building's symmetry. ...
  • Light. ...
  • Color. ...
  • Line. ...
  • Texture. ...
  • Ornament. ...
  • Rhythm.

What are the 8 principles of design? ›

The elements, or principles, of visual design include Contrast, Balance, Emphasis, Movement, White Space, Proportion, Hierarchy, Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern, Unity, and Variety. These principles of design work together to create something that is aesthetically pleasing and optimizes the user experience.

What are the seven 7 elements of design? ›

The elements of design are the fundamental aspects of any visual design which include shape, color, space, form, line, value, and texture.

What are the 5 philosophies of design? ›

What is Your Design Philosophy?
  • There is art in design, but design is not art. ...
  • Design must be rooted in reality. ...
  • Design is never perfect. ...
  • Design is a set of tools, not a standardized process. ...
  • Design communicates obvious function. ...
  • Design should delight.

What are the 5 design objectives? ›

WBDG design objectives are all significantly important: accessible, aesthetics, cost-effective, functional/operational, historic preservation, productive, secure/safe, and sustainable.

What are the 10 basic principles of design? ›

There are 10 principles of design in total! They're also known as the elements of visual design, and are: movement, balance, contrast, proportion, repetition, rhythm, variety, emphasis, harmony, and unity.

What are all 9 of the principles of design? ›

The main principles of graphic design are balance, contrast, emphasis, repetition and pattern, proportion, movement, white space, unity, and variety.

What are 5 of the 9 principles of design? ›

The 9 Principles of Design Are: Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Repetition, Proportion, Rhythm, Balance, Unity, and Variety and they are the foundations of creating art and are the rules for how Artists arrange elements or the Elements of Art to create an Artwork.

What are unlicensed architects called? ›

Unlicensed = "Designer"

Do architects make 6 figures? ›

Becoming a consultant as an architect is a great way to earn six figures or more. Owner's representatives, construction managers, and development consultants are positions where the skills and experience of an architect are very valuable, but you don't need to stamp any drawings.

What are old style houses called? ›

Craftsman house style first emerged in the US – and particularly in Southern California – at the very start of the 1900s and continued in popularity until the 1930s.

What are the different style of homes called? ›

We'll show you the 10 most popular American house styles, including Cape Cod, French Country, Colonial, Victorian, Tudor, Craftsman, Cottage, Mediterranean, ranch-style, and Contemporary.

What style of home has the highest resale value? ›

Colonial. Colonial-style homes have the highest resale factor when all other elements are equal. These two-story homes that often have a boxlike appearance are popular because of the amount of functional living space that they often have. Many homeowners also prefer their minimalistic design.

What house style is most popular 2022? ›

Expect to see more arched openings, barrel-vault ceilings, and curvy furniture, The Plan Collection team predicts. Also, you may spot more arched windows and doors as well as curved ceilings for porches or decks and curved walkways.

What are the least popular home styles? ›

A new survey from homes.com found that Italianate is the least popular architecture style in the U.S, at least according to 5,000 respondents who gave their votes of approval to modern farmhouses, mid-century modern ranches, and Spanish Colonials.

What is the most timeless home decor style? ›

Velvets, cottons and canvas are some of the most popular fabrics to style within a classic, timeless interior for they are elegant without being too ornate. A timeless, classic interior is also well balanced and you'll find there is a play of symmetry. Rooms will be centred around a focal point such as a fireplace.

What are the 4 basic house designs? ›

A residential home designer has four basic designs to choose from when designing homes: the one- story or ranch, the one-and-one-half-story, the two-story, and the split-level. Each of these individual styles has strengths and weaknesses that should be considered before making a design choice.

What style is the Addams family house? ›

Addams Family Mansion

Perhaps the most unfortunate fate of the 5 houses on this list belongs to the 19th century Victorian home in Los Angeles' West Adams District. This home provided the basis for the Addams Family Mansion. The Addams house, located at 21 Chester Place, was built in 1888.

How many architectural designs are there? ›

There are 5 design phases to architectural services. They are (in order) Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding, and Construction Administration.

What are the 3 types of architectural models? ›

Architectural scale models are an excellent way for designers to see a three-dimensional representation and get a physical feel for how a design project will develop.
There are three different types of architectural design models:
  • Concept design model. ...
  • Working design model. ...
  • Concept presentation model.
Jun 7, 2021

What are the 6 influences of architecture? ›

Get in touch with us for a free quote today!
  • Geography & Climate. Geography and climate of a location have a big impact on the architectural design process. ...
  • Religion & Culture. For architectural design, religion may play a role in case some religions have requirements. ...
  • Budget. ...
  • Building Codes & Any Regulations.

What are the 5 types of design? ›

Here are 15 types of design that professionals in industries like engineering, marketing, fashion, technology, landscaping and architecture may use:
  • Interior design. ...
  • Industrial design. ...
  • Engineering design. ...
  • Software design. ...
  • Graphic design. ...
  • Fashion design. ...
  • Landscape architecture. ...
  • Architecture.
May 19, 2022

Who is the No 1 architecture in the world? ›

1. Antoni Gaudí Gaudí spent his entire career in Barcelona, where he built all of his projects, the most famous of which is the 1883 cathedral known as La Sagrada Familia, still under construction today.

What are the most popular house style? ›

Out of the most common house styles–Midcentury Modern Ranch, Modern Farmhouse, Spanish Colonial/Southwest, Bohemian Craftsman, Italianate, French Chateau, and Tudor–the site found that Modern Farmhouse was the most popular home style in 42 states, to be exact.

What is the most popular house style in USA? ›

Ranch house styles are the most searched style in the US today and are common in cities and suburbs across the country. There are various ranch house styles, including California and split-level ranch homes. The main distinguishing features between these styles are living space and home layout.

What are the 4 types of models? ›

9 types of modelling explained
  • Runway models. A runway model works most commonly on the catwalk, which is the runway at fashion shows where designers showcase their work, such as a new clothing line. ...
  • Fashion/editorial models. ...
  • Commercial models. ...
  • Photographers. ...
  • Textile designers.
Nov 30, 2021

What are the 4 types of system models? ›

Systems analysis. Hard systems modeling or operational research modeling. Soft system modeling. Process based system modeling.


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