- 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
And CIOB's response.
Presidential update from CIAT's Eddie Weir PCIAT.
Rates freeze, NI cuts, full expensing; early election?
Could this be a remedy for condensation, damp or mould?
Unlocking a Healthier Tomorrow
Call for ministerial group and National Retrofit Delivery Plan.
The Great Transformation 1860–1920. Book review.
Including the devolved governments, CIOB, ECA, APM and IHBC.
AT awards small to medium size project category winner.
Formal and informal adaptive re-use or new use of buildings.
Temperatures hit new highs, yet world fails to cut emissions (again).
No longer enforcing certain waste transfer documentation.
Winners reactions during the event at the Park Plaza Hotel.
An exciting opportunity for stakeholders to collaborate.
Report from the BSRIA Briefing 2023, Cleaner Air, Better Tomorrow.