A Short History | Post Modern Classicism

Post Modern Classicism, 1980 to 1990 follows the typical traits that make up Renaissance Classicism, a form of art that removed extraneous detail and showed the world as it was. Though according to Charles Jencks it’s distinct from Renaissance Classicism as it manipulates new technologies to create hybrid forms of architecture.
Jencks is often thought to be the first to coin the name of this architectural style. Though past buildings and monuments have shown similar characteristics that would suggest a familiarity with Post Modern Classicism. A fine example of this would be the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Frank Lloyd Wright designed the museum with intentional Post Impressionist influences however the design features Post Modern Classicist characteristics in that it has a particular focus toward a centre point. This is thought to be the foundations of what Post Modern Classicism really is. This breed of architecture seeks to recover the centre of our de-centered world, and even though it isn’t first thought of as a Post Modern Classic it shares the qualities of this style within its spiral exterior. Jencks explained that the majority of Post Modern Classicists “have an antipathy to explicit revivalism, and a tendency to make their recollections veiled if not altogether invisible”. Again this can be seen in Jencks’ Spiral, a brief explanation being a large aluminium DNA strand, the centre of a small garden that uses more traditional materials such as oak and stone. This again being the contrast that surrounds the sculpture to bring this iconic centre point.
This architectural style can be seen in almost all modern day buildings, in fact almost every building that ever was and will be reflects some desirable aspects of Post Modern Classicism. This need to demonstrate a centre point that brings a much sort after nostalgic aesthetic can even be seen in the common living room, it can be as simple a fire place. Does the fire place still heat the house and provide a functional purpose? No, though it allows for this want for what once was to creep into the design and satisfy a more ‘taken for granted’ focal point in design and thus Post Modern Classicism is an extremely important feature in the majority of all design.

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