Why learn about architectural styles?
1. Helps to date a building
2. Helps to understand what influenced people's artistic thinking and tastes
3. Helps to understand what you are looking at and adds dimension
4. Helps put the building in context
5. Helps to understand why people build the way they do
6. It's fun!
Looking at styles can be confusing:
1. Some buildings are easy to read because they are exemplary examples of a style (high style)
2. Some have little or no ornament to distinguish them (often referred to as folk, or vernacular)
3. Some buildings represent a pure style or tradition
There are four major architectural traditions:
Click on a highlighted style to download more information (pdf).
Ancient Classical: Based on Greek and Roman forms
Modern: Arts and Crafts movement & Machine Age movement
How are traditions and styles developed and disseminated?
1. Traditions and styles usually start out as urban developments by designers, architects, furniture makers, and people working in the decorative arts.
2. They are then transferred by example, travel, and by moving with cultural traditions, and by books and magazines.