Contextual Research CPS Painting Research Studio Practice Term 2

Contextual Post – Architectural Styles

As I have decided to do an architectural project, I felt it would be appropriate to research the different styles of architecture throughout history which will give me an awareness of the reasons there are different types of architecture in different places. I am also planning on doing a contextual post of architecture in Leicester which will explain certain architectural factors and the reasons they are there.

There are several types of architecture styles which have different purposes and functions. In many cities, there are often combinations of modern architecture and historical architecture which I find captivating as it demonstrates how the world has changed which is pivotal, history has a lot of importance and showing how we’ve moved on is very interesting in my opinion.

‘Architectural styles – a visual guide’ by Owen Hopkins. Published in 2014.

‘Architectural style’ is largely a creation of the 19th century. ‘Style’ is associated with Heinrich Wölfflin a Swiss architectural historian. he established 5 pairs of opposing concepts linear/painterly, plane/recession, closed form/open form, multiplicity/unity, and absolute clarity/relative clarity. His theory overlooked content in favour of form while ignoring the social economic or material factors that determine the creation of a building or piece of art. style is considered in a broad sense and is used to group and analyse buildings according to particular traits to highlight cultural trends or particular traits, to highlight cultural trends or particular architectural strategies that buy together works that superficially might seem unrelated. Architects often change styles throughout their careers depending upon clients.

Some architectural styles:

  1. Classical – Ancient Greek and Ancient Roman
  2. Early Christian – Byzantine And Romanesque
  3. Gothic and Medieval – Early Gothic, High Gothic, Late Gothic, Venetian Gothic, Secular Gothic and Castle
  4. Renaissance and Mannerism – Early Renaissance, High Renaissance, Northern Renaissance and Mannerism
  5. Baroque and Rococo – Italian Baroque, German and Eastern European Baroque, Spanish and Latin American Baroque, French Baroque, English Baroque and Rococo
  6. Neoclassicism – Palladianism, Classical Revival, Greek Revival, Empire Style, Picturesque and Sublime
  7. Eclecticism – Gothic Revival, Orientalism, Beaux-Arts, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau and Art Deco
  8. Modernism – Chicago School, Expressionism, New Objectivity, International Style, Functionalism, Constructivism, Totalitarian Reactions, Essentialism, Brutalism, Metabolism and High Tech
  9. After Modernism – Realism, Postmodernism, Deconstructivism, Echo Architecture, Expressive Rationalism and Contextualism

1) Classical architecture is the style of buildings created by the Ancient Greeks and Romans.

Ancient Greek:

Ancient Greek Architecture – Parthenon

Region – Greece and Mediterranean colonies.

Period – Seventh Century to First Century BCE.

Ancient Roman:

Ancient Roman Architecture – Hera II, Paestum

Region – Europe (Italy, the Mediterranean – North Africa, Asia Minor and the Middle East.)

Period – First Century BCE to Fourth Century CE

2) Early Christian architecture is the buildings that were created by Christians or under Christian patronage from the earliest period of Christianity.


Byzantine Architecture – Constantinople

Region – Eastern Mediterranean

Period – Fourth to fifteenth century


Romanesque Architecture – Abbey-of-Maria-Laach,-Glees,-Germany

Region – Europe

Period – Mid eleventh to mid twelfth century

3) Gothic and Medieval architecture evolved from Romanesque architecture and was most popular during the high and late medieval period.

Early Gothic:

Early Gothic Architecture – Laon Cathedral

Region – France and England

Period – twelfth to mid thirteenth century

High Gothic:

Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – 13th to mid 14th century

Late Gothic:

Region – Europe, particularly England, Germany and Spain

Period – Mid 14th to 15th century

Venetian Gothic:

Region – Venice, Italy

Period – 12th to 15th century

Secular Gothic:

Region – Northern regions of Europe

Period – 12th to 15th century


Region – Europe

Period – 12th to 15th century

4) Renaissance and Mannerism. Renaissance architecture was created between the early 15th and early 17th century showing a development of early ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Mannerist architecture involved architects experimenting with forms found in Renaissance architecture to emphasise solid and spatial relationships.

Website where I found information for Renaissance

Website I found information for Mannerism

Early Renaissance:

Region – Italy, particularly Florence

Period – 15th century

High Renaissance:

Region – Italy

Period – 16th century

Northern Renaissance:

Region – England, Europe, France, Germany and the Netherlands

Period – 16th century


Region – Italy and Spain

Period – Mid to late 16th century

5) Baroque and Rococo. Baroque architecture has a highly decorative style and appeared in Italy in the 17th century. It celebrated the wealth of the Catholic church, being linked to the Counter-Reformation. Rococo architecture was more graceful yet more elaborate than Baroque architecture as Baroque architecture was very focused on religion while Rococo was more light hearted. . Rococo architecture focused more on privacy than publicity.

Italian Baroque:

Region – Italy

Period – 17th and 18th century

German and Eastern European Baroque:

Region – Germany and Eastern Europe

Period – 17th and 18th century

Spanish and Latin American Baroque:

Region – Spain and Latin America

Period – 17th and 18th century

French Baroque:

Region – France

Period – 17th to early 18th century

English Baroque:

Region – England

Period – Mid 17th to early 18th century


Region – Europe, particularly France, Germany and Russia

Period – 18th century

6) Neoclassism. Neoclassical architecture was a revival of classical architecture in the early 18th and 19th centuries.


Region – England and America

Period – 18th century

Classical Revival:

Region – Europe and America

Period – Mid 18th to mid 19th century

Greek Revival:

Region – Europe, particularly England and Germany

Period – Mid 18th to mid 19th century

Empire Style:,style%20of%20the%20eighteenth%20century.

Region – France

Period – Late 18th to mid 19th century


Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – Late 18th to early 19th century


Region – Europe, particularly England and France

Period – Late 18th to mid 19th century

7) Eclecticism – an architectural style which incorporates diffeent elements of previous architecture styles to create something new.,that%20is%20new%20and%20original.

Gothic Revival:,the%20late%201740s%20in%20England.&text=Gothic%20Revival%20draws%20features%20from,hood%20moulds%20and%20label%20stops.

Region – Europe

Period – 19th century


Region – Europe and USA

Period – Mid 18th to early 20th century


Region – France and USA

Period – Mid 19th to early 20th century

Arts and Crafts:–what-s-it-all-about.aspx#:~:text=The%20architectural%20style%20which%20developed,using%20local%20materials%20and%20traditions.

Region – England and USA

Period – Mid 19th to early 20th century

Art Nouveau:

Region – Europe, particularly Brussels, Paris and Venice

Period – Late 18th to early 19th century

Art Deco:

Region – Europe and USA

Period – 1920s and 1930s

8) Modernism is an architectural style based on new construction methods involving the uses of certain materials including reinforced concrete, glass and steel with a sense of minimalism and making form more important than function.

Website where I found information

Chicago School:

Region – USA

Period – 1880s to 1900s


Region – Germany and the Netherlands

Period – 1910s to mid 1920s

New Objectivity:,Neues%20Bauen%20(New%20Building).

Region – Germany

Period – Mid 1920s to mid 1930s

International Style:

Region – Initially Europe, later worldwide

Period – 1930s to 1950s


Region – Europe, particularly Germany and Scandinavia

Period – 1930s to 1960s


Region – Soviet Union

Period – 1920s to early 1930s

Totalitarian Reactions:

Region – Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Stalinist Soviet Union

Period – 1930s Germany and Italy to 1950s Soviet Union


Region – USA

Period – 1910s to 1970s


Region – Britain

Period – 1950s to 1960s


Region – Japan

Period – 1950s to 1970s

High Tech:

Region – International

Period – 1970s to 1980s

9) After Modernism


Region – International

Period – 1960s to now


Region – International, particularly Britain and USA

Period – 1970s to early 1990s


Region – International

Period – 1980s to early 1990s


Region – International

Period – 1970s to now

Expressive Rationalism:

Region – International

Period – 1990s to now


Region – International, particularly Europe

Period – 1960s to present

Why I felt I should research different architectural styles:

I decided to research into the different architectural styles throughout history as I felt that it would do me good to see how architecture has evolved as new uses for buildings arose. I felt that seeing the ways things have changed and the reasons for it such as providing housing for a lot of people, giving people efficient places to pray, schooling. Demands for things are constantly changing, with needs/wants for different amounts of decorative architectural elements. I feel like it is also eye opening to see how different things used to be in the past as without those things having happened, we wouldn’t be where we are today. Also as my project is focused on architecture, this seemed like a good foundation to get going. Identifying different architectural styles of windows and roofs was important also as it allows me to identify different elements which could be used to develop my project further somehow, possibly by being able to label drawings, adding annotations for a different effect.

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