23 Architectural Styles That Have Inspired the Most Famous Buildings in the World

The practice of expressing cultural symbols is intrinsically human and has been around since prehistoric times. In architecture, just like in any other art form, the emergence of new ideas, beliefs, and aesthetics is closely related to social development. In 1 A.D., the Roman architect Vitruvius wrote in his De architectura—considered the earliest text dedicated to architecture—that a good building should have strength, utility, and beauty. Those are essentially the common denominators that human-made structures possess regardless of when they were created or the style they were inspired by. Beauty, of course, is a subjective quality, but other factors such as technology, engineering advancements, the availability of certain materials, and cultural and political circumstances have played an essential part in shaping architecture’s most distinct styles and speak to the strength and utility of buildings.

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