Famous Architectural Movements Throughout History

What are the Styles?

Architectural styles reflect technological, historical, and cultural factors, influencing building shapes, materials, and aesthetics. Ages bring new methods, ranging from medieval Gothic to ancient Greek and Roman forms.


The Greek cross plan, characterized by high-riding domes and golden mosaics, was influenced by the Christian influence of the Byzantine Empire in churches.


Renaissance architecture, invented by Filippo Brunelleschi in Florence, incorporated antiquity features from Greece and Rome, emphasizing symmetry, proportion, and classical order, succeeding Gothic and Baroque styles.


Baroque architecture emerged in Italy in the 17th century, extending throughout Europe and peaking during the High Baroque (1625-1765), established in response to the Reformation.


The Louis XIV style led to the emergence of Rococo, or Late Baroque, in France in the 1730s, characterized by elaborate ornamentation, asymmetry, scrolling curves, gilding, and pastel colors.


Neo-Gothic style, popularized in 18th-century England, gained popularity alongside Romanticism, supported by Beckford and Walpole. Passion for Middle Ages and picturesque aesthetic led to architectural follies like Fonthill Abbey.


Neoclassicism and Renaissance and Baroque architecture, originating from Paris' École des Beaux-Arts, incorporated elements of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, peaking between the Second Empire and the Third Republic and significantly impacting American architecture.

Art Nouveau

The Art Nouveau movement, from 1890 to 1910, blurred the lines between fine and applied arts, incorporating contemporary materials like concrete, glass, iron, and ceramics, and reshaping furniture, graphic arts, and interior design.

Art Deco

Art Deco architecture, originating from the 1920s European visual arts movement, blends modern design with traditional craftsmanship and opulent materials. Drawing inspiration from Cubism, Fauvism, Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, and Beaux-Arts, it initially was lavish.


Naturalism, a philosophy based on evolution and natural attributes, emerged in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, significantly impacting architectural and urban designs.

Pop Art

The Pop Art movement, originating in the 1950s, revolutionized design by showcasing common objects and promoting unconventional building designs, embracing mass manufacturing, technology, and commercialism.