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11,600 BC to 3,500 BC

Architecture in Prehistoric Times

Archaeologists "dig" prehistory. Gbekli Tepe in present day
Turkey is a good example of archaeological architecture. Before
recorded history, humans constructed earthen mounds, stone
circles, megaliths, and structures that often puzzle modern-day
Prehistoric architecture includes monumental structures such as
Stonehenge, cliff dwellings in the Americas, and thatch and mud
structures lost to time.
3,050 BC to 900 BC
Ancient Egypt
In ancient Egypt, powerful rulers constructed monumental
pyramids, temples, and shrines. Far from primitive, enormous
structures such as the Pyramids of Giza were feats of engineering
capable of reaching great heights.
850 BC to 476 AD
From the rise of ancient Greece until the fall of the Roman empire,
great buildings were constructed according to precise rules.
The Classical Orders, which defined column styles
andentablature designs, continue to influence building design in
modern times.
527 to 565 AD

After Constantine moved the capital of the Roman empire to
Byzantium (now called Istanbul) in 330 AD, Roman architecture
evolved into a graceful, classically-inspired style that used brick
instead of stone, domed roofs, elaborate mosaics, and classical
forms. Emperor Justinian (527 AD to 565 AD) led the way.
800 to 1200 AD
As Rome spread across Europe, heavier, stocky Romanesque
architecture with rounded arches emerged. Churches and castles
of the early Medieval period were constructed with thick walls and
heavy piers.
1100 to 1450 AD
Gothic Architecture
Pointed arches, ribbed vaulting, flying buttresses, and other
innovations led to taller, more graceful architecture. Gothic ideas
gave rise to magnificent cathedrals like Chartres and Notre Dame.
1400 to 1600 AD
Renaissance Architecture
A return to classical ideas ushered an "age of awakening" in Italy,
France, and England. Andrea Palladio and other builders looked
the classical orders of ancient Greece and Rome. Long after the
Renaissance era ended, architects in the Western world found

inspiration in the beautifully proportioned architecture of the

1600 to 1830 AD
Baroque Architecture
In Italy, the Baroque style is reflected in opulent and dramatic
churches with irregular shapes and extravagant ornamentation. In
France, the highly ornamented Baroque style combines with
Classical restraint. Russian aristocrats were impressed by
Versailles in France, and incorporated Baroque ideas in the
building of St. Petersburg. Elements of the elaborate Baroque
style are found throughout Europe.
1650 to 1790 AD
Rococo Architecture
During the last phase of the Baroque period, builders constructed
graceful white buildings with sweeping curves.
These Rococo buildings are elegantly decorated with scrolls,
vines, shell-shapes, and delicate geometric patterns.
1730 to 1925 AD
Neoclassicism in Architecture
A keen interest in ideas of Renaissance architect Andrea
Palladio inspired a return of classical shapes in Europe, Great
Britain and the United States. These buildings were proportioned
according to the classical orders with details borrowed from
ancient Greece and Rome.

1890 to 1914 AD
Art Nouveau Architecture
Known as the New Style, Art Nouveau was first expressed in
fabrics and graphic design. The style spread to architecture and
furniture in the 1890s. Art Nouveau buildings often have
asymmetrical shapes, arches and decorative surfaces with
curved, plant-like designs.
1895 to 1925 AD
Beaux Arts Architecture
Also known as Beaux Arts Classicism, Academic Classicism, or
Classical Revival, Beaux Arts architecture is characterized by
order, symmetry, formal design, grandiosity, and elaborate
1905 to 1930 AD
Neo-Gothic Architecture
In the early twentieth century, Gothic ideas were applied to
modern buildings. Gargoyles, arched windows, and other
medieval details ornamented soaring skyscrapers.
1925 to 1937 AD
Art Deco Architecture
Zigzag patterns and vertical lines create dramatic effect on jazz-

age, Art Deco buildings. Interestingly, many Art Deco motifs were
inspired by the architecture of ancient Egypt.
1900 to Present
Modernist Styles in Architecture
The 20th and 21st centuries have seen dramatic changes and
astonishing diversity. Modern day trends include Art Moderne and
the Bauhaus school coined by Walter Gropius, Deconstructivism,
Formalism, Modernism, and Structuralism.
1972 to Present
Postmodernism in Architecture
A reaction against the Modernist approaches gave rise to new
buildings that re-invented historical details and familiar motifs.
Look closely at these architectural movements and you are likely
to find ideas that date back to classical and ancient times.

21st Century
Neo-Modernism and Parametricism
The name for computer-driven design is up for grabs. Perhaps it
began with Frank Gehry's sculpted designs or maybe others who
experimented with Binary Large ObjectsBLOB architecture. No
matter who started it, everyone's doing it now, and the possibilities

are stunning. Just look at Moshe Safdie's 2011 Marina Bay Sands
Resort in Singaporeit looks just like Stonehenge.
Architectural Periods and Your House
Throughout history, home designs have been influenced by the
"architecture du jour." In the not far off future, when computer
costs come down and construction companies change their
methods, homeowners and builders will be able to design
anything for themselves. So, what will the future home look
like? You decide. For a history of houses and information about
housing styles from Colonial to Victorian to modern-day,
see American Home Styles, 1600 - Present.