A spotter’s guide to Post-Modern architecture

Post Modernism in architecture……..the new embraces the old

The Historic England Blog

Post-Modernism in architecture was an international phenomenon, which can be defined by its relationship to the Modern Movement.

While embracing the technology of industrialised society, Post-Modern architects looked to previous traditions for style and embraced metaphor and symbolism.

Emerging in the 1970s, Post-Modernism was short lived and, as a result, surviving examples of significance in Britain are rare and predominantly found in London or the South East.

Exterior of Hillingdon Civic Centre Hillingdon Civic Centre, RMJM, 1973-1977 © Historic England Archive DP183672

In Europe, Post-Modernism focused on urban context with abstracted references to classicism and the regional vernacular, while in the US the movement prioritised monumental architecture designed in the country’s architectural traditions.

British Post-Modernism used traditional materials and drew influence from architects like Lutyens, movements like Arts and Crafts, and the eclecticism of the Edwardian period.

Exterior of The Red House The Red House, Philip Webb and William Morris, 1859-60 Photo copyright Ethan Doyle White

Modernism

In the 1960s…

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