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Postmodern Buildings : Architecture

PoMo Buildings + Designs in the Built Environment

post updated 18 August 2023 ; 13 Jan 2021 ; Feb 21, 2020

Postmodernism straddled various disciplines from music to philosophy, from art to architecture. We’ve selected what we feel are the key examples of Postmodern Architecture. PoMo buildings tended to be American though the UK also features quite strongly.

We aim to include Postmodern buildings / projects that are either of top quality or interesting, or ideally both.

We cover completed Postmodern buildings and architectural exhibitions.

Major PoMo buildings include the AT+T tower in New York City by Johnson/Burgee, the Clore Gallery and the Number 1 Poultry both by James Stirling Michael Wilford, and Atlantis Condominium in Miami by Arquitectonica.

Postmodern Architecture

Key Postmodernist Buildings, alphabetical:

AT+T tower, Manhattan, NY, USA
Date built: 1984
Design: Johnson/Burgee
Infamous Postmodern building, criticised for being irreverent and simply a Modern building with a decorative top

The Atlantis Condominium, Miami, Florida, USA
Date built: 1982
Design: Arquitectonica
More popular Postmodern building, a colourful apartment block with square hole cut out within the block, contianing a jacuzzi and palm tree, and with primary-coloured features applied to the roof and facade

Civic Centre in Chester-le-Street, County Durham, England, UK
Date built: 1982
Design: Faulkner-Brown Hendy Watkinson and Stoner

Clore Gallery, Tate Gallery, London, England, UK
Dates built: 1980-85
Design: James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates Ltd then Bain + Bevington Architects
Postmodern Architecture - Clore Gallery Tate Britain London
photo © Adrian Welch
Clore Gallery Building
Tate Britain includes the Clore Gallery of 1987, designed by James Stirling, which houses work by J. M. W. Turner. The Clore Gallery has been regarded as an important example of Postmodern architecture, especially in the use of contextual irony: each section of the external facade quotes liberally from the building next to it in regard to materials and detailing.

Number 1 Poultry, City of London, England, UK
Date built: 1999
Design: James Stirling Michael Wilford and Associates Ltd completed as Michael Wilford and Partners Ltd
Postmodern Architecture - Number One Poultry London building prow
photograph © Nick Weall
Number 1 Poultry building
Highly controversial Postmodern building, criticised for its relationship with historic Mansion House buildings close by. The building was designed by James Stirling for a site which then was owned by developer Peter Palumbo, and first assembled by Palumbo’s father, Rudolph, in the 1960s.

After an attempt to add a Modernist office tower design by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a new design was created. It was Jim Stirling’s final design, in a postmodernist style with an outer shell of bands of rose-pink stone. The structure was built after his death. In 2016, following proposals to alter it, it received government recognition with a listing at grade II*, making it the youngest listed building in England.

Piazza D’Italia, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Date built: –
Design: Charles Moore

Famous Postmodern design, more landscape than architecture. Deemed an architectural masterpiece even prior to its completion, the Piazza in fact began to rapidly deteriorate as the development surrounding it was never realized. By the turn of the new millennium, the Piazza d’Italia was largely unfrequented by and unknown to New Orleanians, and was sometimes referred to as the first “postmodern ruin”.

Public services Building, Portland, Oregon, USA
Date built: 1992
Design: Michael Graves Architects
American Postmodern building, like the AT&T essentially a rectilinear volume but in this case decorated on a large scale with colour stripes. The Public Service Building in Portland was the third of three similarly Italianate buildings built in this city by local architect A.E. Doyle’s firm.

The project’s primary designer, Charles K. Greene, worked on the other Italianate Doyle-commissioned buildings in Portland: the smaller Bank of California Building (1924) and the Pacific Building (1926). Green initiated the design of this structure, but left Portland before the building was complete. Pietro Belluschi then completed the project.

More Postmodern Architecture online soon

Location: international

Architectural Design

Modern Architects

Contemporary Architects

Postmodern Buildings in London

Wexner Center for the Visual Arts

Architects with Postmodern Links

Peter Eisenman
Holocaust Memorial
photo © Adrian Welch

Philip Johnson
Postmodern Building New York
scanned image © Isabelle Lomholt

Menara Karya
photo © Ray Sugiharto

Moore Ruble Yudell


Genre related to Postmodernism

Modern Architecture

Iconic Buildings

Art Deco Architecture

Comments / photos for the Postmodern ArchitecturePoMo Building images and news on the e-architect website page welcome