Modern architecture or modernist architecture is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely. The term is often applied to modernist movements at the turn of the 20th century, with efforts to reconcile the principles underlying architectural design with rapid technological advancement and the modernization of society. It would take the form of numerous movements, schools of design, and architectural styles, some in tension with one another, and often equally defying such classification. The term Modern architecture may be used to differentiate from Classical architecture following Vitruvian ideals, while it is also applied to various contemporary architecture styles such as Postmodern, High-tech or even New Classical, depending on the context. In art history, the revolutionary and neoclassical styles that evolved around 1800 are also called modern.
Postmodern architecture began as an international style the first examples of which are generally cited as being from the 1950s, but did not become a movement until the late 1970s and continues to influence present-day architecture. Postmodernity in architecture is said to be heralded by the return of “wit, ornament and reference” to architecture in response to the formalism of the International Style of modernism. As with many cultural movements, some of Postmodernism’s most pronounced and visible ideas can be seen in architecture. The functional and formalized shapes and spaces of the modernist style are replaced by diverse aesthetics: styles collide, form is adopted for its own sake, and new ways of viewing familiar styles and space abound. Perhaps most obviously, architects rediscovered past architectural ornament and forms which had been abstracted by the Modernist architects.