What is Postmodern Architecture?

It is a form or style of architecture that emerged in the 1960s. This postmodern architecture emerged to bring some change to the conventional methods, styles, and patterns of modern architecture. 

There was a lack of variety in modern architecture and it was very formal and simple so this new style was proposed by architect and urban planner Denise Scott Brown and architectural theorist Robert Venturi to bring a change. 

The characteristics of the postmodernism architecture were decorative elements, asymmetry, curved forms, etc. 

Most of the buildings of this style had bright colors. Different shining colors are used to color the different facades to give a variety and not a consistent look through-out the building. 

The architecture of these buildings is complex and not simple. You will find the design of the buildings created using this architecture to be unique, complex, and something that you have not seen elsewhere. 

Fragmentation is also a characteristic of this architecture where you will see a large building broken down into several structures. Also, an asymmetric form is seen in most of these buildings as it is a key aspect. A building of this type is rarely seen in an even and orderly form, most of the time it has an uneven shape. The oblique structure is also seen in some buildings. 

Here are some postmodernist buildings and structures that you should have a look at. 

The Neue Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany

The Neue Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany
The Neue Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Neue Staatsgalerie

It is a subway station in Stuttgart, Germany and it is considered as the epitome of postmodernism. This postmodern art design was done by British firm James Stirling, Michael Wilford, and Associates. There is a combination of natural elements as well as industrial elements in this construction. There is a steel framing system and there are some natural elements like sandstone and travertine used too. 

MI6 building, London, United Kingdom

MI6 building, London, United Kingdom
MI6 building, London

The MI6 Building in London was designed by Terry Farell in the late 80s. The design of this building is very unique; it is inspired by the design of the Battersea Power Stations and also the touch of the Mayan and Aztec religious temples can be seen in it. Its big size and complex style have been a matter of both praise and criticism for the public. 

M2 building, Tokyo, Japan

M2 building, Tokyo, Japan
M2 building, Tokyo

The M2 building in Tokyo is another building of this type. It was designed by Kengo Kuma and the construction got completed in the year 1991.

This grey colored building is a matter of surprise for everyone who watches it for the first time. The design is very complex and unique, no doubt it is the characteristic of a postmodernist building… It was a car salesroom first and now it is used as a funeral hall. 

Piazza d’Italia, New Orleans

Piazza d'Italia, New Orleans
Piazza d'Italia

It is a public plaza located in downtown New Orleans. The construction of this plaza got completed in the year of 1978 and it was designed by Charles Moore. Italian style can be witnessed in the architecture. There are a series of arches, colonnades, and a bell tower in it. The interesting part of this building is its vibrant colors.

There are numerous colors used in this structure and that’s what makes it look elegant. The bad luck for this structure is that it started deteriorating after its construction and started ruining. But it got a new life when nearby buildings started developing.   

Dolphin and Swan Hotels at Walt Disney Resort, Florida

Dolphin and Swan Hotels at Walt Disney Resort, Florida
Dolphin and Swan Hotels at Walt Disney Resort

A beautiful hotel in Florida started in the year of 1990 and it is serving its customers to date. It has a big and spacious area and the construction is complex but the design is fairly elegant. The palm trees in the hotel make it look even more beautiful.

Its design was done by Michael Graves. You will see a mixed color combination of orange and green used throughout the hotel. There are about more than 2200 rooms inside the hotel, isn’t that amazing!

James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, USA

James R. Thompson Center, Chicago, USA
James R. Thompson Center, Chicago


The state government office building in Chicago is a unique example of this style. Its design was done by Helmut Jahn and has 17 storeys. There is a curved shape of the center, the exterior is covered with glass. It has a sloppy design. Its appreciation and recognition are done by its critics as well, such is the amazing design of this building. 

So, here was an overview of the postmodern architecture and the different buildings of this type found worldwide. Hope you got a clear idea of it. If you get a chance to visit these places then you must go and visit them closely to see the characteristics and detailing. At first glance, you will be amazed to see them for sure. 

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