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|Approximate Dates 1970 to the present|
Postmodern architecture is a counter reaction to the the strict and almost universal modernism of the mid-20th century. It reintroduces elements from historical building styles, although usually without their high level of detail. Common features include columns, pyramids, arches, obelisks, unusual or attention-getting shapes and rooflines, and combinations of stone and glass on the facade.
Postmodernism ranges from conservative imitations of classical architecture to flamboyant and playfully outrageous designs. As the style became mainstream, many buildings with a modern form assimilated postmodern devices into small parts of their designs.
Among the original and most prototypically postmodern architects, Michael Graves & Associates is famous for its colorful and entertaining designs in architecture and other products. The firm of Johnson/Burgee Architects has designed some of the style's best known buildings, with an extremely wide variety of forms. Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates is one of the most successful practices in history, with a portfolio of major postmodern buildings all over the world.
The breakdown of Modern (or Modernist) into component styles is a new phenomenon based on the concept that Modern as we know it today has its own internal history: beginning with the works of Louis Sullivan (the Condict Building on Bleeker Street) and Frank Lloyd Wright (best known here for his much later Guggenheim Museum); followed by Art Deco and Art Moderne and the Bauhaus and/or International Style as imported by Walter Gropius, Marcel Breuer, and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (cf. the Seagram Building).