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Critical Regionalism

  The idea of critical regionalism in architecture is essentially a postmodernist precept stressing, in the design of a new building, the attention that must be given to the existing physical context of that building\'s region.

Critical regionalism is not an equivalent of the later 19th-century vernacular revival, because it does not call for a return to vernacular building type. Nor is it in opposition to modern technology. It is a reaction to the global uniformity of modernism, a conscious feature of the International Style which sought to break down nationalist barriers. Later observers noted that if people from different localities did not travel, for whatever reason, then they would be unable to identify with international style, but would only regret the loss of any attention to their indigenous culture. The term ‘critical regionalism’ was coined in the early 1980s by Alex Tzonis, and is identified with the theoretical writings of the critic Kenneth Frampton, who describes it thus: ‘Regionalism upholds individual and local architectonic features against more universal and abstract ones.’ JM

See also contextualism.



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