Which Architecture Is Best

The debate around architecture has raged for centuries and it’s still unclear what style of architecture is the most successful and preferred. Architecture reflects both culture and values and a case could be made for just about any style being the ‘best’.

For this reason, it’s important to look at architecture from multiple perspectives and take into account a multitude of factors when determining what’s best. First, we’ll explore the aesthetics of architecture and look at the different type of visuals these styles evoke. Then, we’ll discuss the practical elements and the effectiveness of each type of architecture. Finally, we’ll look at the financial implication of choosing one style of architecture over the others.


When discussing architecture, aesthetics play an important role. Each type of architecture style has its own unique visual features and it’s these features that draw people in and make them feel connected to a certain building or structure. Gothic architecture is best known for its pointed arches and spires, while art deco architecture tends to feature angular shapes and sweeping curves. Modern architecture, on the other hand, tends to be more minimalist and often makes use of glass and steel.

A common misconception is that one person’s definition of beauty might not be the same as another’s, but when it comes to architecture there is usually broad consensus about what looks good. So aesthetics can be an important factor to consider when deciding what architecture is best for a given space or project.

Practical Considerations

The practical element to architecture cannot be overlooked. Practicality refers to the functionality and utility of a building or structure. Aesthetics can only get you so far, and it’s important to make sure that the style of architecture you choose is adaptable and structurally sound for the purpose intended. Gothic architecture, for example, is best suited for tall, slim buildings with a lot of visual detail, such as churches, while modern architecture is more suited to low-rise buildings and open floor plans.

It’s also important to consider the climate in which the building will be constructed. Certain types of architecture can be better suited to certain climates and natural elements. For example, earthy materials are best suited to cold, wet climates, while lighter materials may be better suited to hot, dry climates.

Financial Implications

The cost of architecture should also be taken into account. Different types of architecture require different materials and processes, and these can add up quickly. Traditional construction methods can be expensive and time consuming, while contemporary methods such as prefabrication can be both cost effective and time efficient. It’s always important to do your research and find out what works best for your budget and timeline.


In conclusion, when it comes to architecture, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. What works for one person might not work for another, and what works for one project might not work for the next. It’s important to consider the aesthetics, practicality and financial implications of each style of architecture before you decide what’s best.

Modern Architecture

Modern architecture dates back to the early 20th century and is best described as a synthesis of traditional and contemporary styles. It focuses on clean lines, simple forms and minimalist designs. Building materials for modern architecture are usually steel, wood and glass, and are designed to be both aesthetically pleasing and functional. Another defining feature of modern architecture is an emphasis on energy efficiency, which is achieved through the use of insulation, natural lighting and orientation to take advantage of longitudinal and latitudinal sun. The sleek and timeless design of modern architecture has made it one of the most popular architectural styles today.

Advocates of modern architecture argue that this style is best suited for modern lifestyles and sensibilities. They also point to its energy efficiency and its purpose-built design, which can accommodate a range of different needs. Additionally, modern architectures can be adapted to many different climates and natural environments, making it one of the most versatile styles.

However, modern architecture can be costly and requires a great deal of maintenance. Maintaining the steel structures and glass walls of modern structures can be expensive, and it’s important to factor in the costs when deciding whether or not to go with this style.

Contemporary Architecture

Contemporary architecture is similar to modern architecture, in that it uses clean lines, simple forms and minimalism. However, it also allows for more abstract shapes and textures, as well as a play with color and lighting. Contemporary architecture is usually seen as a cross between modern and traditional and can be described as “living architecture,” in that it evolves and adapts over time to the changing needs of the people inhabiting it.

Advocates of contemporary architecture point to its flexibility, as the styles and elements can be changed or adapted to suit the needs of the people living and working in the space. This style also allows for more creativity and individual expression, while still retaining a sense of functionality. Additionally, this style is often more cost effective than modern architecture, as there is less focus on using expensive materials.

The downside to contemporary architecture is that it can be difficult to maintain, and the elements can become dated over time. Keeping the aesthetic of a contemporary structure up to date can be expensive and time consuming, so it’s important to consider this when determining which style is best.

Traditional Architecture

Traditional architecture is the oldest style of architecture and dates back centuries. This style is best known for its intricate detailing and use of timeless materials. Popular traditional materials include stone, wood and clay, and the architecture emphasizes symmetry and elegance. This style is often seen in older buildings and monuments, such as churches and cathedrals.

Supporters of traditional architecture point to its timeless beauty and craftsmanship. This style is perfect for those who appreciate the beauty of the past and enjoy a sense of history and nostalgia. Additionally, traditional architecture is often quite sturdy and sustainable, as the materials are durable and the craftsmanship is second to none. This makes traditional architecture a great choice for those looking for a building that will last.

However, traditional architecture can be expensive, as the materials used are often expensive and the labor required can take longer. Additionally, traditional architecture can be stylistically limiting, as it can be difficult to update or change the design.

Art Deco Architecture

Art Deco architecture emerged in the early 1900s in Europe and was quickly adopted by American architects. This style is usually characterized by strong geometric shapes and bold colors. Materials used in art deco designs often include concrete, marble and brick, and the design usually has a slight Art Nouveau influence. Art Deco is commonly seen in skyscrapers and other large buildings, such as theaters and hotels.

Proponents of Art Deco architecture argue that it is the perfect synthesis of modern and traditional styles, as it combines the best of both worlds. The geometric shapes and bold colors make it perfect for making a statement, and its adaptability means it can be used in a variety of applications. Additionally, this style is often less costly than traditional or contemporary architecture, as it requires fewer materials.

However, art deco architecture can be difficult to maintain, as the bold colors and intricate shapes require regular upkeep. Additionally, this style can be difficult to update, as it is stylistically specific.

Industrial Architecture

Industrial architecture is a relatively new style of architecture that emerged in the late 19th century. This style is best known for its utilitarian design and material, most notably concrete and steel. The design is often characterized by high ceilings, open floors and the use of large windows and skylights to maximize natural light. Industrial architecture is common in warehouses and other industrial settings, but can also be seen in more public institutions such as schools and hospitals.

Advocates of industrial architecture point to its cost-effectiveness and adaptability. This style is often cheaper than traditional and contemporary architectures because of its scrubbed-down design, and can also be adapted for a variety of uses. Additionally, industrial architecture is usually quite energy efficient, as the materials used tend to offer great insulation, as well as the use of windows and skylights.

However, industrial architecture tends to be quite sterile and lacks warmth. Additionally, the materials can be difficult to maintain and keep in good repair.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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