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New Traditionalist Architecture/Architecture Uprising

I liked these townhouses in Oakville. Not convinced they would be improved by being done in a modern style.

44 Forsythe St


Is the front wall a heritage feature, or some kind of deliberate architectural gesture?

But also--and this may get to *a* point here--the example in question doesn't look necessarily "new". In fact, it looks like the kind of "play on the past" contextual/incrememtal approach that thrived in the Postmodern 80s and 90s--and as such, I wouldn't necessarily frame it in the presently-loaded terms of "traditionalism" which is a little more, well, heavy-handedly wholesale in its rejection of the modern and embrace of the "traditional".

Rather, I'd use a case like this as an argument to, shall we say, rediscover something of that low-key 80s/90s Postmodern contextualism and incrementalism, to revalidate it as a model to follow and to learn from. A bit of an architectural version of a "slow food movement"...
I think what get's lost in the discussion is that what's important is the *principles* of traditional architecture, not necessarily the strict adherence to a certain historical style.

Across the world and many distinct cultures, several common themes emerge, implying a certain innate human appeal:
  • Human scale
  • symmetry
  • organic, local, context appropriate materials
  • coherent, non-confusing design
  • ornamentality
  • design elements that make sense in the context of geographic conditions (ie. pitched roofs in high precipitation climates, airy and open layouts in hot climates etc.)
These are found across many traditional styles and much less hard to dismiss as "western supremacy" when they're as likely to be found in Asia, Africa or the Aztec empire as they are in Europe.

Additionally these principles can be factored into any design without strict adherence to a particular style. Meaning there is plenty of room for innovation/forward thinking architecture while still operating within some universal bounds of "human-ness"
I see this architectural style a lot in small regional colleges in the U.S. Would this be considered neo-traditional?


Well, yes, if not outright "traditional". And more often than not (especially these days), it's a reflection of either the institution or the benefactors in question.

As for the institution here...

Private university affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

Video touching on whether originality in architecture should prioritized as much as it has been, versus other considerations .