Church Architecture: Postmodernism

Church Architecture: Postmodernism

If you recall what we talked about the last time, you may remember that we discussed Modern architecture. Although well-received, it was criticized for being too straightforward. A more elaborate style reminiscent of the past was demanded by many.

Thus, Postmodern architecture came to rise. With diversity in aesthetics and intricate techniques, Postmodernism drew from the past movements to create a style that is not only functional, but also looks good. Although Modern architecture based its form on a structure’s function, the Postmodern movement balanced things out.

Below are some features of Postmodern architecture.

The “Anything Goes” Attitude

The Sony Building
Image source: Wired New York

Architects normally use unconventional touches to buildings that would still look aesthetically appealing. For example, the Sony Building (formerly the AT&T Tower) sports a classic pediment infused with the blocky look common in modern offices.

Color Scheme

Portland Municipal Services Building
Image source: Wikipedia

Colors in Postmodern architecture don’t necessarily adhere to the color wheel. They would appear unbalanced and aren’t really consistent, but would still look pleasing nonetheless. The Portland Municipal Services Building’s color scheme is an example of such. The color pattern is a combination of green, flesh, and dark-brown and appear contrasting to each other.

"Less is Bore"

San Antonio Public Library
Image source:

Countering Modern architecture’s emphasis on “less is more,” the minimalistic approach has been eschewed in favor of whim while not looking out of place. The San Antonio Public Library in Texas may be cited as an example. With an unconventional color scheme following the previous point, the building sports a Mediterranean tone on the Southeastern and Southwestern facades and magenta on the Northeastern façade. Additionally, ornaments such as the spheres shown above have been incorporated.

Postmodernism also affected church architecture. Nowadays, Postmodern churches have been sprouting everywhere.

Examples of Postmodern Churches


Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, Baltimore

Image source: Wikipedia

Immaculate Conception Church, New Jersey

Image source: Panoramio

Church of the Resurrection, New Albany

Image source: Shirk & O'Donovan

Through its unconventional approach on architecture, Postmodernism spread from America to Europe, and then throughout the rest of the world. It enhanced people’s perspective on architecture, not settling for what is commonly applied. That might just be the reason for its resilience!

With the Postmodern movement, we end our church architecture series. We hope you gained valuable insights on the evolution of church buildings from the dawn of Christianity to the modern world. Until next time!



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Defining Postmodern Architecture and Its Characteristics, Cockrams Surveyors

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Postmodern Buildings: Architecture, E-Architect

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