What Are The 3 Main Types of Architecture?

There are many different types of architecture but there are three main types that we see the most around the world. If you are building your home, the style will much different compared to if you are building a commercial space or government building. This is because each place has different architectural methods and ways of designing. If you lived in a place where the city revolves around a specific type of architecture, a local designer would be able to incorporate these requirements while still making the space unique. For example, BLDG.collective | Boulder Architects take Boulder, Colorado’s mountainspaces and red rock palettes into account when designing spaces for clients. The three main types of architecture are governmental, domestic, and commercial.

Governmental Architecture

When it comes to governmental architecture, you will usually see these types of buildings in any place that is used for public service. This includes well-known places like the White House but also includes smaller places like courthouses, post offices, public schools, and libraries.

If you drive around your town and look at these buildings, you will see that they have the same type of architecture and design models.

While other places can be made with this design, it’s uncommon because the designs are usually reserved for government and public service buildings.

Commercial Architecture

Commercial architecture can be any building that is not government or domestic. These buildings are used for activities or businesses. They include everything from hotels to shopping centers to airports. The design can also be used for places like hospitals and banks.

You will see commercial architecture every time you go into a town because places are mostly filled with places of business and other kinds of places like restaurants and shopping malls.

Domestic Architecture

Domestic architecture is only used for the designs of private homes. This includes houses and apartment buildings. Townhouses are also domestic architecture. The purpose of domestic architecture is to create nice and comfortable living spaces.

They are usually less decorative and have minimal designs because they are used as a place of living. These places are also smaller so there is less room for creating large places and new designs. Lawn and landscape maintenance is typically minimal, with a few colorful accents such as tulips or lavender plants to bring a subtle pop of color around the edges of yards and fencelines. While these are three main types of architecture, there are tons of other ones to consider whether you’re studying architecture or you’re just interested in the way different buildings look.

When a building is memorable, it often looks a certain way and then people remember it as a landmark or simply because it’s a stunning building. Memorable buildings also follow a certain design style that people can relate to as they have seen different buildings that look this way as well.

When it comes to the three main architectural designs above, some subcategories go beneath each one. Here are some examples.

Gothic Architecture

Almost everyone knows Gothic architecture because it’s seen all over Europe as well as in other parts of the world. It started in France and was mostly used to design churches. However, now it’s used for many different kinds of buildings.

If you have seen any major church in Europe including the Notre Dame in Paris or the Milan Cathedral in Italy, these are designs of Gothic architecture.

This design is not common in government buildings or residences, but it can be seen in commercial buildings like churches and other religious buildings.

Greek Classical Architecture

This style is seen all over ancient Greece and Rome. Although the style is very old, some elements of it can still be seen in government buildings across the USA. For example, government buildings employ the ionic and Corinthian columns that are seen in classical architecture.


Like many of the other famous architectural elements, the Baroque style originated in Europe, mainly in Italy. While it’s not common in residential homes that are in neighborhoods, many famous people and celebrities use some of the techniques including concave forms and figurines.

Since the Baroque style is most commonly seen in palaces in Europe, it’s easy to see how people with large sums of money also use the style to make their residential homes in the modern day.

Neoclassical Architecture

This design has many of the same elements as classical architecture but different elements were added during the revival period. This type of architecture is seen more in modern-day buildings both in the USA and Europe.

It’s mostly used for government buildings including the White House in the USA and many different post offices in Europe including the main one in Dublin, Ireland, and Liverpool, England.

Victorian Architecture

Many elements of this can be seen in homes all across the USA so it’s a type of residential architecture. One of the main elements you might recognize is that homes with Victorian Architecture often resemble dollhouses. The Postcard Row in San Francisco is one example.

Some other main elements of design include bright colors, elaborate trimmings, and asymmetrical designs.

Modern Architecture

Modern architecture began after World War II as many places across the world had to be rebuilt after the war ruined many places. This type of architecture is often seen in homes and commercial places.

You can see it in many places across Europe and the USA.

Post Modern Architecture

Although modern architecture was a simple way of rebuilding things after the war many people did not like the boxy style, so the post-modern movement began. These designs are more whimsical and meant to be fun.

They are not commonly seen except in famous buildings or very large homes where the owner wanted to build something truly unique.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are three main types of architecture including the styles used to build commercial places, residential places, and government buildings. Although these are the three main types, there are many others to consider when you think about when the building was made and during what period it was designed.

Architecture has changed many different times throughout history as times change and the state of the world or country also changes. Architecture often changed after large world events such as World War II.

If you look around you, you can count dozens of different architectural designs.

Dominik Sherman

Dominik Sherman, an authority in home organization, earned his degree in Interior Design from the University of Washington. With over 15 years of experience in space optimization and minimalist design, Dominik joined our platform in 2020, offering innovative and practical home organization solutions. Before this, he ran a successful home organizing consultancy, helping clients transform their living spaces. Dominik is also an avid gardener, finding peace and inspiration in the harmony of nature and organized spaces.

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