11 Lost Icons of Postmodern Architecture

by Charles Holland
Dezeen, August 5, 2015

Image: Moore House by Charles Moore. Courtesy of DezeenPostmodernism began with an act of demolition. In 1972, the Pruitt-Igoe housing blocks in St Louis, Missouri were demolished following years of problems and neglect. Architecture critic Charles Jencks hailed this event as the death of Modernism and the birth of Postmodernism, an architectural style that would embrace popular taste and historic symbolism.

Since then, Postmodernism itself has grown old and if anything even more unpopular. It has suffered more than its fair share of lost or demolished buildings. But these losses are often more to do with the cycles of fashion than any innate deficiencies in the fabric of the buildings themselves.

Postmodernism is still at the bottom of the architectural depreciation curve, despite recent attempts at revivification. As a style that hit its peak in the 1980s, many of its landmarks were commercial and somewhat disposable building types including office blocks, shops and hotels.

(Image: Moore House by Charles Moore. Courtesy of Dezeen)

What follows is a tribute to some of Postmodernism’s more important lost icons, the buildings that future generations will come to mourn even if we don’t quite realise it yet. Their demolition is all the more acute for the combination of monumentality and lightness of the buildings themselves and the way that they combined an interest in architectural history with popular taste. Read more…

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