Classical houses. Classicism in architecture

„Classicism becomes avant-garde when everyone else is doing their utmost to develop new stylistic forms. I think it’s healthy to return to classical forms”.
Michael Haneke (Austrian director)

Origins, characteristics and perspectives of classicism in architecture


By “classical architecture” one generally refers to architecture derived, more or lessconsciously, from the principles of antique architecture, namely Greek and Roman. Since the Carolingian Renaissance and especially since the Italian Renaissance, different styles of classical architecture have co-existed. In spite of the variety of all these classical styles, it is quite obvious that they all draw on a common “vocabulary” of constructive and decorative elements.

“Classical architecture” can also refer to any architectural style that has evolved to a highly refined state, and to any architecture that makes use of classical aesthetic philosophy. Terms such as “traditional architecture” or “vernacular architecture” can also be used.

With regard to contemporary buildings style following authentic classical principles, it is usually referred to as “New Classical Architecture”.

How can we recognize a classical building? Houses belonging to New Classical Architecture style

Since it is not so easy to capture the complexity of this style in one single definition, we will try to outline some of the main features of a classical building.

  • Using one or more classical orders,which follow recognized forms and proportions, both for columns and for entablature, which is the horizontal projections and mouldings above them.
  • Presence of certain conventional features,such as pediments and balustrades.
  • Preference for symmetrical plans and facades.

There are also the so-called mixed styles, in which classical motifs appear in decorative combinations beside elements from older traditions, such as non-European styles using columns in their own different ways. Another interesting aspect is the existence of classicism without columns (Georgian houses fronts).

Postmodern classical architecture tends to use simplified paraphrases, such as cylindrical columns, sloping or convex cornices, coloured cladding, instead of traditional materials.

The taste for classical structures is still alive in our times. More than this, the admirers of this architectural style can find classical houses designs on our portal. Here are several identifiable features of the modern houses with classical design:


  • Symmetrical design,usually with centre door.
  • Front façade columned porch.
  • Full height porch with classical columns.
  • Front facing gable on porch or main roof.
  • Broken pediment over entry door.
  • Decorative doors surrounds, columns, or sidelights.
  • Side or front portico.
  • Entry porch.
  • Dentate cornice.
  • Roof line balustrade.
  • Natural materials for the exterior finishing.


Until next time, when we intend to show you details about the other architectural styles on our site, we wish you all the best!

Plansarchi Team

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