The archetypes of architecture

The starbursts and pastels of Googie. The angularity and colorful bursts of Art Deco. The topics below are mainly Western styles for now and are arranged generally by timeline of adoption, starting with Greco-Roman classical architecture all the way to Postmodern.

Icon of Roy's Motel and Café on Route 66
Postmodern Architecture


A rebellion against the “modern” glass box that reintroduced some ornament

Brutalist Architecture


A fittingly harsh name for this spiritual sister of the International Style

International Style Architecture

International Style

The style that redefined corporate architecture and gave us the “glass box”

Googie Architecture


Mid-century visions of the future in building form, heavy on the Space Race aesthetic

Icon of a typical mid-century modern house, modelled after 1020 W Via Vadera in Palm Springs, California

Mid-Century Modern

The style that redefined suburban America during the 1950s and 1960s

Streamline Moderne Architecture

Streamline Moderne

An polished, more minimalist and more horizontal offshoot of the Art Deco style

Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco

Very much modern, but with a decorative flair and a subtle eye on the past

Art Nouveau Architecture

Art Nouveau

The first style to kick off the modern movement, which drew inspiration from nature

American Queen Anne Architecture

American Queen Anne

A confusing and misleading name for a very quirky and colorful style

Icon of a Victorian Second Empire residence, modelled after Croft's Villa in Rhinebeck, NY

Victorian Second Empire

A quirky style best known for giving us the stereotypical Halloween house

Neoclassical Architecture

American Neoclassical

Classicism enjoyed another revival in America, shaping public buildings for decades

Icon of a typical English neoclassical building, modelled after 12 St. James Square in London

English Neoclassical

Not fully Classical, not fully Renaissance, but some blend of the two – with a British flair

Icon of Santorini buildings in the Cycladic style


An iconic vernacular style characterized by white stone and blue domes

French Baroque Architecture

French Baroque

The Chateau style was fit for a king, but the Baroque style was made for an emperor

French Chateau Architecture

French Chateau Style

A style literally fit for kings and queens, marrying Gothic and Renaissance

Baroque Architecture

Italian Baroque

The Catholic Church’s highly decorative and theatrical statement style

Italian Renaissance Architecture

Italian Renaissance

The first major return to Classical roots, making it the first of the neoclassical styles

Gothic Architecture


The first real departure from Greco-Roman designs, with visions of heaven

Classical Architecture

Classical (Greco-Roman)

From Mediterranean shores came the West’s “one style to rule them all”