23 Architectural Styles That Have Inspired the Most Famous Buildings in the World
Learn to differentiate between the most significant architectural styles that have shaped buildings and cityscapes around the globe.
The practice of expressing cultural symbols is intrinsically human and has been around since prehistoric times. In architecture, just like in any other art form, the emergence of new ideas, beliefs, and aesthetics is closely related to social development. In 1 A.D., the Roman architect Vitruvius wrote in his De architectura—considered the earliest text dedicated to architecture—that a good building should have strength, utility, and beauty. Those are essentially the common denominators that human-made structures possess regardless of when they were created or the style they were inspired by. Beauty, of course, is a subjective quality, but other factors such as technology, engineering advancements, the availability of certain materials, and cultural and political circumstances have played an essential part in shaping architecture’s most distinct styles and speak to the strength and utility of buildings.
Gothic architecture, for example, was largely influenced by religion and religious dogmas, while the Renaissance was all about the re-invention of classic ideas and values. Naturally, the architectural style that emerged during this period is based on traditional Greek and Roman principles. Here, we break down the most notable and important architectural styles throughout history that have shaped our urban landscapes and, in many cases, continue to influence our lifestyles.