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ARCHI-Typing: 10 Character Archi-Types

Character Archi-Type

Archi-Types consists of ten main character archi-types. These describe the majority of architectural styles from antiquity to present.

The Classical Character Archi-Type

Classical Archi-Types

The Classical Character Archi-Type describes style typologies that express design elements reminiscent of Greek and Roman Architecture. Majestic and grand, the Classical Archi-Type features extensive use of marble and concrete, building materials that are true to this classical era in history.

A number of other architectural styles have evolved from Greek and Roman architecture and Renaissance architecture is one of them. Characterized by sensitivity to its’ Greek and Roman predecessor, Renaissance architecture takes the concept of symmetry, balance, and proportion to a whole new level. If you’re looking for a style that is grand and romantic, you likely have a Classical Character Archi-Type.

Classical Style Typologies

Baroque and Rococo, Classical Architecture, Modern Classical, Art Nouveau, Italianate, Brownstone

The Traditional Character Archi-Type

Traditional Archi-Types

The Traditional Character Archi-Type describes architecture that embody stereotypical house design. The elements in this character archi-type are easily recognizable– its’ triangular roof, a rectangular plan, and a front porch or colonade.

The material choices for this specific archi-type range from wooden walls to brick-and-mortar construction or a combination of both. Traditional style typologies reflect architecture that was prominent in North America and Great Britain during the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

Traditional Style Typologies

Farmhouse Style, Colonial, Victorian Style, Craftsman Style, Gothic Revival, Tudor/Cottage

The Mediterranean Character Archi-Type

Mediterranean Archi-Types

The Mediterranean Character Archi-type refer to Spanish and Mudejar-inspired architecture. Commonly known as the architecture of the mediterranean sea, Mediterranean architecture is a combination of architectural styles found in Spain, Portugal, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Tunisia, and Morocco; Borrowing elements from both Roman Catholic and Moorish architecture.

Due to Spanish colonization during the 15th century and beyond, we’ve seen influences of this architectural style in Latin America, Mexico, and some parts of the United States and Asia.

Mediterranean Style Typologies

Mission Style, Spanish, Arc Deco, Moorish, Islamic/Mudejar, Neo-Islamic

The Ethnic Character Archi-Type

Ethnic Archi-Types

The Ethnic Character Archi-Type refers to architecture heavily influenced by ancient Mesoamerican and Egyptian architecture and all related styles. It’s described with the extensive use squares and triangles in the massing and ornamentation of a building. It uses a lot of terraced construction, reminiscent of ancient Aztec and Mayan temples and Ziggurats.

Ornamentation of this archi-type is often described as geometric and tribal. You will notice a lot of repetitive patterns clad in the exterior and interior of these structures.

The style typologies under this character archi-type are spread all across the Globe, commonly seen in ancient ethnic civilizations like the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Summerians, Mayans, Aztecs, and Incans. This character archi-type also bear similarities with Native Architecture and Ornamentation.

Ethnic Style Typologies

African, Art Deco, Mayan Revival, Modern Filipino, Filipino Spanish Colonial, Filipino Neo-Vernacular

The Tropical Character Archi-Type

Tropical Archi-Types

The Tropical Character Archi-Type refers to architecture that is seen mostly in Southeast Asia and the Pacific islands. Characterized by wood construction and thatched roofing, seen mostly in the tropics.

Tropical architecture focuses on passive strategies that help mitigate the harsh climate in the tropics. As an Archi-Type, Tropical Architecture refers to building with materials commonly found in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Generally speaking, the Tropical Archi-Type refers to architectural aesthetics that blend seamlessly with the tropical landscape.

Tropical Style Typologies

Asian Minimalist, Asian Vernacular, Asian Expressionism, Modern Asian, Balinese, Neo-Tropical

The Minimalist Character Archi-Type

Minimalist Archi-Types

The Minimalist Character Archi-Type can be typically found in Japan and Scandinavian Countries. It is often presented with a flat facade, and zero ornamentation. Minimalist architecture usually works with a smaller building footprint compared to its’ modern and contemporary counterparts, with the goal to maximize every nook and cranny of a space to achieve utmost function.

While this Archi-Type may seemingly have a lot of similarities with the Contemporary Archi-Type, it has a distinct feature that trumps it all: its form and massing.

Minimalist Style Typologies

Japandi, Oriental, Zen, Scandi Expressionist, Nordic, Nordic Minimalist

The Modern Character Archi-Type

Modern Archi-Types

The Modern Character Archi-Type is a combination of style typologies mostly seen in North America during the early 1900’s. Taking its’ roots from cabin architecture, the Modern Character Archi-Type takes the authenticity of various natural materials in creating a design that feels one with nature.

Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright are some of the famous pioneers of this architectural style. A style that has evolved from log houses into architecture that blends itself with the environmental landscape. This character archi-type uses a lot of rough stone cladding and large boulders as a design element. It can either possess a low-pitched and a high-pitched roof.

Modern Style Typologies

Modern Cabin Architecture, Desert Modernism, Rustic Cabin Architecture, Prairie-Style Architecture, Mid-Century Modern, Organic Architecture

The Contemporary Character Archi-Type

Contemporary Archi-Types

Dubbed as the architectural style of the present-day, the Contemporary Character Archi-Type is characterized through the use of building materials prominent during the 21st century.

Main features include large glass windows, open plans, flat roofing, clean lines, unconventional materials, composition of volumes, and minimal ornamentation. This character archi-type depicts present-day home styles.

Contemporary Style Typologies

Minimalist, Industrial, Bauhaus, 21st Century Modern Architecture, Postmodern, International Style

The Radical Character Archi-Type

Radical Archi-Types

The Radical Character Archi-Type possesses an extremely brutal, and massive design characteristic– Where massing and geometry is paired with the brutalism of steel and concrete. Radical Architecture heavily focuses on the manipulation of form where concepts of fragmentation and deconstructivism comes into play.

Radical Style Typologies

Metabolism, Constructivism, Deconstructivism, Brutalism, Neo-Brutalism, Expressionist Brutalism

The Expressionist Character Archi-Type

Expressionist Archi-Types

Expressionism as an Archi-Type is playful and mimetic. It takes inspiration from real objects and nature as basis for a structure’s form. Expressionist structures are fluid, taking on smooth curves that mimic nature. Depending on the concept, it may incorporate sharp geometric shapes as well.

The Expressionist Character Archi-Type loves drawing inspiration from actual objects and often mimics forms found from the built environment. The Expressionist Archi-Type is similar to the Radical Archi-Type in a lot of ways but differs a lot in color and texture. While the Radical Archi-Type focuses heavily on the authenticity of the textures and materials used, The Expressionist Archi-Type plays with color and texture to achieve authenticity in the form or shape being represented. It uses design elements to copy.

Expressionist Style Typologies

Mimetic, Novelty, Expressionism, Art Moderne/Streamline Moderne, Googie, Neo-Futurism

Learn more about Archi-Typing and take the archi-typing assessment here.

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