Postmodern architecture

Postmodern architecture

Postmodern architecture is an international style whose first examples are generally cited as being from the 1950s, and which continues to influence present-day architecture. Postmodernity in architecture is generally thought to be heralded by the return of "wit, ornament and reference" to architecture in response to the formalism of the International Style of modernism. As with many cultural movements, some of postmodernism's most pronounced and visible ideas can be seen in architecture. The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist movement are replaced by unapologetically diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound.

Classic examples of modern architecture are the Lever House and the Seagram Building in commercial space, and the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright or the Bauhaus movement in private or communal spaces. Transitional examples of postmodern architecture are the Portland Building in Portland, OR and the Sony Building (New York City) (originally AT&T Building) in New York City, which borrows elements and references from the past and reintroduces color and symbolism to architecture. A prime example of inspiration for postmodern architecture lies along the Las Vegas Strip, which was studied by Robert Venturi in his 1977 book Learning from Las Vegas celebrating the strip's ordinary and common architecture. Venturi opined that "Less is a bore", inverting Mies Van Der Rohe's dictum that "Less is more".

Postmodern architecture has also been described as "neo-eclectic", where reference and ornament have returned to

the facade, replacing the aggressively unornamented modern styles. This eclecticism is often combined with the use of non-orthogonal angles and unusual surfaces, most famously in the State Gallery of Stuttgart (New wing of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart) and the Piazza d'Italia by Charles Willard Moore.

Modernist architects regard post-modern buildings as vulgar and cluttered with "gew-gaws". Postmodern architects often regard modern spaces as soulless and bland. The divergence in opinions comes down to a difference in goals: modernism is rooted in minimal and true use of material as well as absence of ornament, while postmodernism is a rejection of strict rules set by the early modernists and seeks exuberance in the use of building techniques, angles, and stylistic references.

Brief discussion

New trends became evident in the last quarter of the 20th century. Some architects started to turn away from Modern Functionalism which they viewed as boring, and which most of the public considered unwelcoming and even unpleasant. These architects turned towards the past, quoting past aspects of various buildings and melding them together (even sometimes in an inharmonious manner) became a new means of designing buildings. A detail example of this was that Post Modernism saw the comeback of the classical pillar and other elements of premodern designs, sometimes adapting (but not aping, as was done in the 19th century) classical Greek and Roman examples. In Modernism the pillar (as an design feature) was either replaced by other technological means such as cantilevers, or masked completly by curtain wall fa

Similar articles: