- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
- Specialist wikis
Last edited 15 Jun 2022
Eclecticism in architecture
Eclecticism is an architectural style that flourished in the 19th and 20th-centuries. It refers to any design that incorporates elements of traditional motifs and styles, decorative aesthetics and ornaments, structural features, and so on, that originated from other cultures or architectural periods.
- Classical revival style.
- Colonial revival style.
- Exotic revival style.
- Gothic revival style.
- Italian renaissance revival style.
- Spanish colonial revival style.
- Tudor revival style.
As a movement, eclecticism first emerged in Europe, particularly coming out of France’s Beaux Arts style and Britain’s Victorian architecture, when architects were encouraged to explore their expressive and creative freedom, rather than simply following the requests of their clients.
In America, eclecticism was far more influential, with architects such as Richard Morris Hunt and Charles Follen McKim adopting the Beaux Arts approach in their designs which, as became typical among American architects, were more flexible according to their and their client’s own stylistic choices. Since many of these architects chose to incorporate historic features that had previously only been seen in European architecture, the eclectic style was considered to contribute to a sense of rich culture and history.
During the 1930s, Modernism and Art Deco became more prevalent as a result of the wide availability of new technology and materials and access to new design schools. Consequently, eclecticism declined in favour. Modernism was seen as entirely new and innovative, and moved away from historical imitation, however, eclecticism would later be revived in a newer form with the advent of post-modernism.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural history.
- Architectural styles.
- Arts and craft movement.
- Baroque architecture.
- Beaux Arts style.
- Classical orders.
- Historical versus Modern: Identity through imitation.
- International Style.
- Modernist architecture.
- Nineteenth century building types.
- Postmodern architecture.
- Towards a radical eclecticism.
- UTEP and the architecture of Bhutan.
Featured articles and news
Review and comment on the revised draft before July 11.
Write about something you know, help us build and grow !
A blended event and triumphant return.
Mark Reynolds succeeds Andy Mitchell as Co-Chair of CLC
Designing Buildings is 10 years old.
From alteration to deconstruction on DB.
Refurbishment for Net Zero.
Understanding temperature in buildings on DB.
A call for home energy management to be modernised.
How many different types can you think of ?
Looking back and fourth to what still needs to be done.
Targets, impacts and action from ECA member.
Pioneering Indian environmental design Architect.
The greenest building is the one already built.
History of Temple Meads rewritten.
Currently standing at just 1%.
Find out more with BSRIA.
A cricket pitch is 1 chain long whilst 80 chains is a mile.
What is your pledge ?
Changes come into force for F,L,O and S.
CIAT member reasons on why it matters.
Nine in ten civil engineers think so.
IHBC Annual School, 15-18 June.
A trusted clip with a long history, worth celebrating.
The new wave of green architectural features in context.
For built environment professionals.