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Late twentieth century stripped classical
In the years following the end of the Second World War classical architecture did not enjoy widespread appeal. It lost credibility with the downfall of the Third Reich, which had employed classicism in its monumental prestige buildings of the 1930s and 1940s.
In addition, the main feature of classical architecture – symmetry – was rejected by the modern international style.
Philip Johnson’s design for the Lincoln Center in New York started something of a revival in the stripped classical style in the early 1960s. With its variety of formal settings, the developing city of Canberra was a good location for buildings in this style. One of the earliest examples in Australia was the Law Courts of the ACT (1961), followed by the National Library of Australia (1968).
The style is classical architecture without the use of classical details and motifs. Symmetry, a repetitive rhythm of columns or column-like elements and a reliance on carefully considered proportions are important. In Canberra, there are very few examples of housing in the stripped classical style.
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