10 Outrageous Buildings That Scream More Is More

Forget 'less Is more', these incredible Postmodernist buildings are daring, wild and out-there...

Phaidon's latest coffee table book delves into some of the world's most creative and out-there postmodern buildings, and the photos are a visual feast.

Titled Postmodern Architecture: Less Is a Bore, it's a spirited response to the famous saying that ‘less is more', with Postmodern architecture in a rainbow of hues and forms from around the globe.

Written and curated by author Owen Hopkins, the book shows a curated collection of Postmodern architecture in all its glorious array of vivid non-conformity.

The book features 200 illustrations, revealing the diversity of Postmodern architecture from around the world. Itcelebrates the movement that, despite being one of the 20th century's most controversial styles, is experiencing newfound popularity today.

Postmodernist architecture emerged in the 1960s, and thrived from the 1980s through to the 1990s, and the recent rise of its popularity has seen the return of ornate designs and expressive forms throughout architecture and design.

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Less is a Bore features photos of buildings ranging from the movement's most famous, through to lesser known 21st-century structures and manifestations in Asia and America.

Here are ten striking examples of show-stopping Postmodernist structures that are still around today...


Created by Charles Moore in USA in 1962, Moore House screams 'more is more', with it's contrasting colours, shapes and patterns. Charles Moore is an enigmatic figure in the history of postmodernism, and this example showcases his wonderfully exuberant yet carefully considered approach to architecture and interior decoration.

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Created by WAM Architecten, the creative Hotel Zaandam in Amsterdam features a mix and match of traditional Dutch facades, stuck together in a higgledy piggledy way.


Designed by Frank Gehry and Claes Oldenburg, the Chiat/Day Building in Los Angeles was built in 1991 and is Arguably one of the most eye-catching buildings is this smooth and rounded binocular-shaped exterior that presses up against a contrasting rugged and sharp facade.


Camille Walala is known for her graphic, almost Roy Lichtenstein style pop-art designs. Here she transformed the Industry City Mural, Brooklyn, New York.

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Over in Houston, Texas, John Outram's 1996 design for Duncan Hall is decorative and ornamental. The book hails John Outram as one of the great, largely unsung heroes of postmodernism. Rarely did Outram find clients who were prepared to go all the way on this extraordinary architectural journey. Duncan Hall is the exception.

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Never has a car garage looked as cool as Miami Florida's Museum Garage, designed by Jurgen Mayer H, Workac, Clavel Arquitectos, Nicolas Buffe, and K/R.


The Ordnance Pavilion in The Lake District was one of the first built projects by the British practice Studio MUTT. Commissioned by Lakes Ignite in 2018 as part of a celebration of the Lake District as a cultural landscape, it explores the visual language of the iconic Ordnance Survey maps to create a hybrid structure which makes a direct connection to the long history of eye-catchers in the British landscape. It also emblematises a 'do it yourself' attitude that characterises many of the buildings in this book, being designed, built and installed by the architects themselves.

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Helmut Jahn's cavernous State of Illinois Center in Chicago is another show-stopping example of postmodernism. Built in 1985, it's currently sadly under threat.


Another striking building in Amsterdam, Mart van Schijndel's design for Oudhof is a more sensitive and contextual example of postmodernism. Built in 1990, it proves that Postmodernism wasn't always about brash forms and stylistic exaggeration.


And finally, another striking design in Amsterdam is the Piramides building, designed by Soeters van Eldonk Architecten in 2006. The design takes the stereotypical Dutch gables and stacks them in a perfect triangle.

Postmodern Architecture: Less Is a Bore by Owen Hopkins is published by Phaidon, £29.95 (phaidon.com)

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.