Postmodern architecture, in a nutshell, includes combinations of styles and aesthetics, has sculptural forms, organic forms, and irony and wit. You may recall from a previous lesson how Postmodernism often combines the old with the new and in the process creates a style that is decidedly unique.
He’s designed numerous buildings, and has built a reputation as one of the finest architects in the world. He designed the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida:
He also designed the Portland Building in Portland, Oregon:
One of the big problems that postmodern architects saw with Modernism was its reliance on form following function. This was seen as a severe limitation. Architects such as Philip Johnson worked in minimalistic design. Johnson was an associate architect on the Seagram’s Building by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. He responded to this issue of form following function by incorporating purely aesthetic ornamentation into their designs, like in the Sony Building, with its uniquely designed roof and cathedralesque seven-story entryway.
Charles Moore was one of the pioneers in postmodern architecture, helping to define the genre by incorporating elements such as ornamentation, playfulness, and wit into his designs. These defining characteristics can be seen in his Piazza d’Italia, which was commissioned by Italian-American community leaders of New Orleans.
These characteristics show up in how he incorporates modern materials, such as stainless steel, and minimalist design elements to put a modern spin on a classical form of architecture.
Aside from Michael Graves, the postmodern architect that the average person has probably heard of before is Frank Gehry. His unique aesthetic is truly unlike anything you’ve probably seen before. His deconstructivist style can take on many forms; however, many of his most famous designs feature an exterior that has this wavy, playful, organic-looking titanium skin that completely belies the belief in form following function.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia author Ian McConnell