The New Criterion: The Future of Classicism

“Classicism is a broad river that has run through Western architecture for two-and-a-half millennia. A generation ago it seemed that the stream had reduced to a trickle. Only a small phalanx of recondite architects really understood the classical language of architecture; they were generally employed by private patrons whose social as well as architectural ideas were not at the cutting edge. And yet now, if not quite in full spate, the river has recaptured a degree of vigor. The flow has quickened, the banks are beginning to brim. What has happened, and what does the future hold?

The Future of Classicism

 

Younger figures, such as Alireza Sagharchi, have inherited the peace; they have identified the niche that they will inhabit, both in Britain and overseas (Sagharchi has recently built a large villa in Kazakhstan). They live in a world of pluralism. Classicism is one style among other styles—but it is a valid style, recognized as such by almost everyone except some retardataire planners, whose job gives them the luxury of remaining true to the old modernist faith. But even they can usually be circumvented. Harmony reigns. Increasingly, it is a classical harmony.”

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