Neoclassical Architecture

Neoclassical Architecture

Neoclassicism is a direction in architecture from the late 19th to the early 20th century, focused on reviving the forms of classicism.

Key Features of Neoclassicism

Neoclassical architecture primarily turned to classical order forms. Columns (Doric, Ionic, Corinthian orders), porticos, pediments, and entablatures were widely used. These elements gave buildings the appearance of temples or public structures of Ancient Greece and Rome.

Another important feature was the pursuit of strict proportions and measured symmetry in plan and facades. Often, buildings had a clear symmetrical composition with equivalent side wings.

However, Neoclassicism was not a primitive copying of classical prototypes. Architects creatively reworked classical forms, considering new materials and structural possibilities. As a result, buildings were more decorative, pliable, and dynamic.

Spread of the Style

Neoclassicism gained popularity in the architecture of Europe and the USA in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It emerged as a reaction to the artistic directions that preceded it.

For example, the eclecticism of the second half of the 19th century was characterized by excessive decorativeness and accumulation of ornaments. In contrast, Art Nouveau emphasized natural, vegetal motifs in ornamentation.

Neoclassicism brought more rigor, monumentality, and orderliness of classical forms into architecture. It became a sort of "cleansing" from the excessive decorations of previous styles.

Examples of Architecture

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London is considered a model of Neoclassicism. Its facades are adorned with massive Corinthian columns, expressive entablatures, and pediments.

Another example is the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. It is distinguished by strict proportions, the rhythm of Ionic columns, and simple geometric forms that underscore the monumentality of the structure.

Thus, Neoclassicism vividly displayed features of revival and reinterpretation of ancient heritage in the context of a new era.


Neoclassicism had a significant impact on the development of architecture, bringing back the harmony and balance of classicist forms. Even today, its creations appear monumental and majestic.