How has Humanity Affected Architectural Styles?

Architectural Styles in the History of Humanity

It does not deny that architecture is one of the most popular topics in the world; People are fascinated by the way buildings are designed and constructed. Architectural styles can be classified or sorted under specific categories to choose from, but some are more popular than others, and it can be hard to keep them all straight.

However in this article, we'll look further at five of the most famous architectural styles in the world, and what sets them apart. But before exploring those styles, let’s divide the architectural styles in general into three main sections as follows: 

 Are you interested in the topic? Read more about it in this post: 10 Most Popular Residential Architectural Styles in the US

Architecture has existed since the dawn of the history of humanity as an artistic expression to define and represent civilizations’ periods, geographical locations, and creative trends across the globe. In a way, we can say that there are many architectural styles in the same different eras in history.

This post today will enlighten some of the most relevant styles; From classical and traditional architecture styles like Gothic and Baroque to more modern styles like Art Deco and Bauhaus, there's always something for everyone's taste. So whether you're a promising architect or just someone who appreciates good design, keep on reading to learn more about the five most popular styles in the world of architecture and creation.

Different Types of Architectural Styles

When people think of architecture, they usually think of miscellaneous styles, such as classical, modern, or traditional. But what is the difference between these styles, and what makes them dissimilar from each other?

So let’s first explore the main categories that the multiple architectural styles are sorted behind in general:

• CLASSICAL ARCHITECTURE is characterized by its symmetrical and orderly design. Buildings are often built with a large number of columns, which support a high roof. Buildings in this style are common in ancient Greece and Rome. It is one of the most popular and old styles in the world. This style is characterized by columns, symmetry, and grandiose design scaling.

architectural styles, classical styles
The 5 classical order of architecture: the Greco-Roman style, Photo-Credit:

Classical architecture is often seen in government buildings, museums, and other grand public spaces.

Have you ever wondered why so many buildings in the World especially in the U.S. are modeled after the classical Greco-Roman style and its orders? It's not just because it looks nice - there's a reason why this specific architectural style has been used for centuries. One of those reasons is the sensation of grandiosity and reverence that style provides to whom the building represents or honors.

• MODERN ARCHITECTURE is typically categorized by its asymmetrical and abstract design. Parametric architecture is also characteristic of this era, as well as the high-tech styles; Where buildings are often built with a large number of glassy windows (glazed walls), which allow light and air to enter. Constructions with this style started to show up in the 1920s and 1930s.

TRADITIONAL ARCHITECTURE can be defined as the style of nations and communities; As each region in recent years has its unique construction methods, style, and materials found locally or imported, such as the Lebanese, or Spanish traditional architecture or else...

Read more about Traditional Architecture.

5 Most Popular Architectural Styles in The World

There are a ton of different architectural styles out there in today’s design world, but some are more popular than others. In this article, we'll take a look at the five most popular styles in the world, from minimalist to Renaissance. (Note that the styles are randomly sorted)

1- MINIMALIST: This style is all about simplicity and decent functionality. Minimalist architecture is characterized by clean lines, minimal ornamentation, and a focus on good functionality over forms and aesthetics. This is the ideal style to choose for designing within limited area space to lessen the possible waste.

architectural styles
The minimalist architectural style, simplicity yet significant design, Photo by: Architectural Digest

In the world of architecture, there is an endless growing movement toward minimalism. Minimalist architecture is often seen as cold and sterile, but it can also be incredibly beautiful and serene. In the photo above, we'll discover one of the best examples of an outer gallery in a minimalist concept from around the world; It is forwarding the simple design to the next level of creation.

Notice the usage of various new materials and well-organized colors with the aim of better serving the concept idea. Amazing!

2- BAROQUE: If you are designing a house for a wealthy client who is not limited to a certain budget for his project, this style is the ideal choice you can make. Perhaps because it is the polar opposite of minimalist architecture, famous for its decorative detailing, dramatic curves, and an overall luxurious and wealthy sensation.

Baroque is one of the architectural styles that is characterized as cited above, by its ornate and decorative features. This style emerged in Europe in the early 17th century and quickly spread to other parts of the world. Baroque architecture is often associated with the Catholic Church, as many churches and cathedrals were built in this style. However, baroque architecture can also be found in nonspiritual buildings, such as palaces, private residences, and official government edifices. Read more...

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Luxembourg Palace in Paris is an example of a nonspiritual building designed in the Baroque architectural style, Photo:

3- MODERN AND ART DECO: Modern architecture takes many features from both the minimalist and baroque architectural styles but adds its unique sensation and personality. This style is characterized by clean lines, unusual shapes, and a focus on function over form. Art Deco was a fashionable style and was popular from 1925 to 1939.

Most of the structures in this style relied on well-organized forms, symmetrical geometric shapes, and smooth lines. Plus, the structures can be completed with bright and dazzling colors. Art Deco was understood as a magnificent and modern style that was commonly used in the construction of train stations and the interiors of cinemas and theaters. Other usages for the Art Deco style comprise fashion, jewelry, furniture, fabrics, etc...

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Chrysler Building in NYC on the left, and the Hoover Building are good examples of designs in Art Deco style, Photo: Senior Architectural Systems Ltd

The modern architectural style approach consists of constructing structures that include minimal ornamentation and are generally not complicated in design. Any homes built using this style are clean and functional yet free of confusion and disorder.

The overall shape of a property is boxlike and has a penchant for vertical and horizontal lines, as well as rectangular forms. Plus, construction materials rely on modern eco-friendly materials and systems. It includes also a lot of concrete blocks, exposed steel, and open spaces. Another architectural style falls into this section: the Bauhaus, which is characterized by functional shapes, simple color schemes,  industrial materials, balanced asymmetry, and holistic design.

4- GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE STYLE: Gothic is another popular style that is known for its pointed arches and ribbed vaults. Gothic architecture is often seen in religious edifices such as churches and cathedrals. The Gothic architectural style was most popular throughout the late medieval period. (The Middle Ages in Europe extend between the years 500 – 1500)

This style's most notable characteristics include large individual windows, vaulted ceilings, pointed arches, gargoyles, and bright designs. (See relevant figure below)

architectural styles
The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is a famous example of Gothic architecture. Notice the gargoyles' details and other ornate elements. Photo:

This new architectural style in its gathering period was able to inspire the most unique look of cathedrals, churches, and castles. The Gothic style made it possible to build light structures that were pleasant, and airy. However, the style may vary in some details between different countries and regions. 

5- RENAISSANCE ARCHITECTURE: Renaissance is a style that was popularized in the 16th century. It is some of the most beautiful and iconic in the world.

architectural styles
St. Peter’s Basilica  –  Vatican City (Rome, Italy), Photo:

From the grand palaces of Italy to the splendid homes of England, it is one of the architectural styles that has left a lasting impression on the world. Similar to the Classic style, it features grandiose and big scaling and follows the strict rules of proportionality.

In the 1500s, a new style of architecture began to emerge in Europe. This style, known as Renaissance architecture, was characterized by its ornate detailing. It quickly spread throughout Europe, and it remains one of the most popular styles of architecture today. This style is characterized by its symmetry, and geometry and is mainly used in religious enormous edifices, such as the famous St. Peter’s Basilica  –  Vatican City (Rome, Italy) (see the above photo)

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Among the most popular Renaissance architects, are Brunelleschi, Alberti, da Vinci, and Raphael. Most of those living in the 16th century and between the years 1400-1600 as estimated.

Why Architecture is essential in the History of Humanity?

Today we learned a lesson;  There is a big relationship between Architecture and Humanity; That’s what we discovered in this post. The variety of architectural styles is a sign of the diversity and popularity of the concerned society with all the related styles, whether they are local or foreign.

A well-organized civilization can dramatically influence and sometimes impose its architectural characteristics on the local environment or make some major modifications to the currently adopted style. There is no restriction or limitation on any styles out there.

Hope I did give you some clear ideas about which architectural style for your next project, to facilitate the mission of choosing the appropriate design that will impress and define your project function. Whatever your project purposes are, there are always the right architectural styles that fit your intention and goal and fascinate your clients.

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