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Architectural Style

Post Modern building.jpg



The Postmodern movement gained momentum in the mid 1960s as a response, or as some view it, as an act of rebellion towards Modernist architecture. Modernist designs often favored practicality over aesthetics. This drew sentiment from many architects who viewed these buildings as sedate or boring. In response, Postmodernists began to look to past architectural styles such as Art Deco to create one-of-a-kind buildings, often meant to depict the buildings true purpose. Through Postmodernism, architecture has morphed into a form of artwork that has resulted in some innovative and truly awe inspiring structures.


Postmodernism architecture grew from the frustration of young architects in the 1960s who refused to accept the ideals placed upon them by their predecessors.[1] Postmodernists viewed structures built under the guise of Modernism as lacking soul and imagination. They believed that structures should have as much effect on those outside of the building as those who are in it. This fashion over function approach spread rapidly from the United States into the rest of the world, resulting in an era of construction that remains dominant to this day.

Use In Building Construction

Since Postmodernism has thrived by reinventing the wheel, so to speak, in terms of architecture, this era has turned out many acclaimed structures that are as appealing from the outside as they are from the inside. Postmodernism removed many boundaries in the realm of architecture so it seems that nothing is off limits to today's architect.[2]

This has led to competition among architects and cities about who can develop the next innovative structure. As a result, architects continue to push the envelope using the latest in technology and building materials to create structures that challenge the perceptions about what buildings should be and look like.

Building Materials

Taking their tenants into consideration, many Postmodernist structures are constructed with as many windows as possible. Such "glass boxes", as they have been referred to, have grown to dominate most skylines in major urban centers. [3] Since there is an emphasis on being innovative, architects continue to invent new materials to construct their works of art. An emphasis on sustainable building practices has become a contributing factor toward this.

Ritz 1211 Melville Street, Vancouver, BC

The Ritz adds a splash of red to the sea of blue in Coal Harbour's waterfront area with its two vertical stripes. This condominium knows how to "put on the ritz" in providing unbeatable views of the North Shore mountains, downtown streetscape, Stanley Park, and sailboats and cruise ships sailing by on their way to and from Canada Place.

All these sights and the urban conveniences of downtown make Coal Harbour a much sought after place to live. Additionally, The Ritz boasts world class amenities that provide for residents' almost every need. Renowned Vancouver architects Hancock Bruckner Eng & Wright, designed this elegant 38 story building in the postmodern style. The building features many angular and protruding sections that jut out from the facade.

Presidio 088 Barclay Street, Vancouver, BC

The Presidio is a luxury condominium in a one-of-a-kind location in Vancouver's West End. It sits at the southern edge of Stanley Park at Barclay Street and Lagoon Drive. Part city, part park, residents of this building have a truly unique location that boasts views of downtown Vancouver, Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, University of British Columbia, English Bay, the North Shore Mountains, and even the Gulf Islands depending on which way the balcony faces.

The Presidio is a 20 floor concrete high-rise designed by Vancouver architect Richard Henriquez whose firm is now called Henriquez Partners Architects. The building is designed in the postmodern style that plays with a reference to Adolf Loos' Villa Karma - a luxurious country residence in Switzerland. The Presidio has a concrete and glass exterior with a rounded tower, creating a circular room in each suite. In the penthouse suite, this space is used as a master bathroom on the main floor and an office on the second floor, which one can see in the Floor Plan section.

Museum Park Tower One 1322 South Prairie Avenue, Chicago, IL

Designed in a Postmodern style of architecture by the firm of Pappageorge Haymes Partners, Museum Park Tower One was the first high rise building to be constructed in the Central Station development. Although over a dozen buildings eventually followed over the next decade, Museum Park Tower One will always be remembered as the trailblazer in this ambitious redevelopment.

Construction on this building began in November of 2000 and was completed in June of 2002. Standing 20 stories at a height of just over 85 meters, Museum Park Tower One holds 221 one and two bedroom apartments and is surrounded on three sides with rows of townhouses. Under the building is a two story parking garage that holds 257 parking spaces that are given to residents for private use, although there is limited guest parking available.

Museum Park Tower One is notable for giving private balconies to each apartment unit and residents access their apartments through one of three elevators. Museum Park Tower One is capped off by a spire-tipped cupola that is large enough to be visible from many of the public spaces that surround Museum Park Tower One.

William Beaver House 15 William Street, New York City, NY

The distinctive William Beaver House is noted for its facade of dark gray bricks highlighted by a random cascade of yellow bricks. It was designed by noted celebrity developer André Balazs, who has created numerous hotels including the Mercer in New York City. It has received mixed non-scientific reviews by residents of Manhattan referring to the yellow highlights as 'melted butter' on top and also as the 'post-it-note' building.

Completed in 2008, William Beaver House took a postmodern inspiration to add contrasting colored brick to what may have become an otherwise dull grey facade. As such, the accents produced by the bright yellow brick along with the subtle curves and sharp angles of its facade, makes this a distinctive building in the Financial District. The notion of the 'golden brick' accents may have been intended to suggest a pot of gold at the end of their dreams for potential residents.

Avery 100 Riverside Boulevard, New York City

In the early 2000s, Extell Development and the Carlyle Group partnered to buy 20 acres of land between 59th and 65th Street from Donald Trump for development along Riverside Boulevard. The Avery was one of the buildings to result from this development out of a planned six, with construction beginning in 2005 and finishing in 2006. Designed in the postmodern style of architecture by Costas Kondylis and Schuman, Lichtenstein, Claman & Efron, the project’s marketing campaign was highlighted by an elaborate tent party between West 64th and 65th Streets in 2006.

Standing 32 stories, the Avery is a high rise condominium tower that was constructed using concrete and a curtain wall facade. The building is distinguished by its symmetrical design that rises up in a series of setbacks. The building’s facade is punctuated with numerous over sized windows, and the top of the building features distinctive vertical piers. Inside, residents are greeted by a two story lobby.


  1. Postmodern Architects
  2. Postmodern
  3. How to Recognize Post-Modern Architecture

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