Classification table of architectural styles

style name style characteristic

4 thousand. BC.

332 A.D.

Overly human dimensions, stability, strict symmetry, “quantitativeness”, geometry of forms, grandeur. The architecture perpetuated the deified power of the Pharaoh and the belief in the afterlife.

(pyramids in Giza, ensemble of temples in Karnak)


8th century BC –

5th century AD

This style developed in Antiquity: Greece, Rome. Light slender architecture dr. Greece carries in its artistic structure a different spirit of heroism and human significance. The main achievement of Greek architects is the creation of an order. Harmony, lightness, simplicity, proportionality to the human scale, practicality, rationalism, solemnity.

(Athenian Acropolis, Roman Colosseum)


11-12 centuries

Massiveness, heaviness, heavy weight, serfdom, the main means of expression is a stele with narrow openings – a cross-bathing system. Thick walls, narrow loopholes in monasteries and castles. The main element of the composition is the donjon. Around it were the rest of the buildings, made up of simple geometric shapes – cubes, prisms, cylinders. 

(Cathedral ensemble in Pisa, Cathedral in Worms)


13 – 14 centuries

The frame becomes a constructive basis, huge openings appear, filled with stained-glass windows. Arches and portals stretch out and take the lancet shape. Lightness, delicacy, weightlessness, aspiration up to the sky, to God.

(Notre Dame Cathedral, Reims Cathedral, Cologne)

Ancient – Russian

9 – 17 centuries

Dignified simplicity, conviviality, elegance, decorativeness, polyphony.

(Church of St. Sophia in Kiev, Church of the Intercession on the Nerl, Dmitrievsky Cathedral in Vladimir)


13 – 17 centuries

Symmetry, harmony, balance, geometric correctness of forms. An important achievement is the creation of a new architectural form – a floor. The windows are interpreted as the eyes of the building, the facade as the face of the building; those. the outside expresses the interior architectural space.

(Temple of Santa Maria del Fiore, Palazzo Ruchelai, Michelangelo Buonarroti. Dome of St. Peter’s Cathedral. Rome)


17th century

Quaint, dynamic, restless, richly decorated, sculptural, creating parks, ensembles, buildings are richly decorated with stucco, painting, sculpture.

(Ensemble of St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, Tsarskoye Selo Palace, Hermitage, Borromini. Church of San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane. Rome)


17 – 19 centuries

“Classius” is a sample. The style of absolute monarchies, calm grandeur and noble simplicity, strict rhythm, symmetry, elegance, solemnity. the severity of the form, the clarity of the spatial solution, the geometry of the interiors, the softness of the colors and the laconicism of the external and internal finishing of structures

(palace ensemble of Versailles, arrows of Vasilievsky Island, Kazan Cathedral)


18 century

Rocaille is a sink. Refinement, mannerism, luxury, whimsical decorativeness, shell-shaped ornament. there is a tendency towards asymmetry of compositions, fine detailing of form, a rich and balanced structure of decor in interiors, a combination of bright and pure colors with white and gold, a contrast between the severity of the external appearance of buildings and the delicacy of their interior decoration. (Oval hall of the Soubise hotel, double interiors of the Winter Palace, Smolny Cathedral)
Empire style

18 century

The style of the empire of the Napoleonic era, dryness, academicism, severity, clear lines, cold grandeur. a combination of massive simple geometric shapes with items of military emblems. enthusiasm for the construction of various kinds of triumphal arches, memorial columns, obelisks. Porticos are becoming important elements of the decoration of buildings. In the decoration of interiors, bronze casting, painting of plafonds, alcoves are often used

(Chalgrin. Arch of the Star in Paris, the building of the main headquarters in St. Petersburg, Leper and Honduin. Vendôme column in Paris.)


19th century

Asymmetry, softened streamlined forms, curving lines of the ornament, external decorativeness. use of new technologies (metal, glass). Stair railings, lamps hanging from the ceiling, even door handles – everything was carefully designed in the same style

(Casa Batlló (1906, architect Antoni Gaudí), Victor Orta Tassel’s House (1983), Sytin’s house, S. Ryabushinsky’s Mansion. F. Shekhtel. Moscow. 1902

Modern – late XIX – early XX century; are characterized by various house decorations, rounding, departure from regular geometric shapes. The use of large, glazing areas. Facing surfaces are made of decorative bricks, porcelain stoneware, and in some cases – painting. (In the architecture of Moscow – Yaroslavsky Station, Central Department Store, Hotel Metropol)




20th century

The use of new building structures, new building materials, abstraction of geometric shapes, aestheticization of structures. Constructivism – the design of the environment, the possibilities of new technology, its logical, expedient designs, the aesthetic possibilities of materials such as metal, glass, wood. Constructivists strove to oppose ostentatious luxury to the simplicity and emphasized utilitarianism of new object forms, in which they saw the reification of democracy and new relations between people. (Moscow Planetarium, architects M. Barshch, M. Sinyavsky; Eiffel Tower G. Eiffel France)

“organic architecture” – to assert the necessity and pleasantness for the human eye of flexible natural forms, the connection of architectural structures with the natural environment. (Opera House, Jorn Ustzon, Australia, Sydney)

Retro style – spacious forms, verandas. The exterior of the house is made of modern materials, but in an antique style. There is a contrast between dark and light colors, broken roofs, valleys, skylights, spacious staircases.

“hi-tech” (“hi-tech”) – maximum functionality. No decorative frills. Active introduction of the latest technologies into the human environment. Sometimes the demonstrative use of technical forms – brightly colored open pipes, air ducts, elements of engineering equipment, metal structures and other entourage of the “century of technology”

Designs are inherent: rigor and simplicity, straight lines, simple geometric shapes. The decor is calm. Monotony prevails in the color scheme. Lots of metal and glass. Metal-glass multi-tiered galleries are popular (“Rainbow Center” in Niagara Falls, USA, 1978)

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