Celebrating Diversity in Architectural Styles Around the World

Diversity in Architectural Styles Worldwide Ethnic and gender diversity can have many advantages within architecture. A more diverse industry allows for more holistic problem-solving strategies.

An inclusive architecture community fosters global perspectives by broadening cultural sensibility. Drawing inspiration from multiple sources leads to architectural styles that fuse East and West – such as Islamic-inspired motifs at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or contemporary Japanese and Scandinavian design elements in Norway’s Juvet Landscape Hotel.


The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 highlighted issues surrounding cultural identity for many Egyptians. Many individuals felt conflicted as to which culture they felt more attuned with Egyptian or Arabic.

Islamic Cairo’s architecture is an exquisite display of Egyptian history and has stood the test of time, with thousands of years behind its foundations. The district is well known for its numerous historic mosques, mausoleums and palaces that make up its landscape.

Egyptian design is famed for its ornate details and use of decorative elements such as carvings, hieroglyphics and reliefs. By incorporating such features into their houses, African communities can celebrate their cultural heritage while showing their connection to ancestral roots while simultaneously opening themselves up to cross-cultural exchange and fusion; ultimately creating community unity while reinforcing a sense of belonging and identity for everyone involved.


Ancient Greece saw wide variation in architectural styles throughout its mainland and islands as well as colonies in Ionia and Magna Graecia. Yet most temples and buildings shared certain characteristics – they typically featured rectangular designs with peripteral (obstructed sides and facades covered by rows of columns) facades.

Curvature was another key feature of Greek architecture that helped create pleasing proportions and enhance aesthetics. They used the Golden Ratio – an appealing mathematical ratio – as a guideline in their designs from overall structures down to details, reflecting their philosophy that beauty should co-exist with practicality in architecture. Domestic structures typically consisted of one- or two-story houses built of brick or stucco with packed earth floors or decorated exterior walls covered with plaster frescos reflecting social gatherings such as festivals.


Japan is one of the world’s most advanced societies, yet still preserves an intricate set of traditional cultural practices. Japan stands as an intriguing example of harmonious contradictions where tradition meets progress in search of the future.

This dynamic is evident in Japan’s architecture, from Shinto shrines and Shinchiku buildings to more elaborate structures built by aristocratic families to show off their power. Even today, Japanese architects such as SANAA, Sou Fujimoto and Jun Aoki are earning international acclaim for creating work that blends fantasy with meeting human needs – an approach known in Japanese as “Kenchiku.” At this Symposium they will be discussed.


Cultural diversity is a cornerstone of architectural design, helping bridge the divides between cultures while encouraging mutual appreciation of their contributions to world peace. Multicultural architecture has often been celebrated as an asset to urban planning; one example is Durban, South Africa’s Denis Hurley Center which integrates African designs seamlessly alongside Emmanuel Cathedral – two buildings widely considered to represent this approach.

China was famous for building traditional houses out of wood to withstand earthquakes, typhoons and flood disasters; their designs also served to reflect social norms and order. Many featured symmetrical designs to fulfill both practical and aesthetic purposes while some even featured color choices or decorations tailored specifically to their building function and local customs.


India is home to an exquisite cultural legacy which can be seen through its architecture. Dynasties that once ruled, religions, and literature all played an influential role in creating its diverse styles of architecture.

Architectural styles developed during the rule of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire combined elements from Indian and Islamic architecture, most famously seen in mausoleums such as the Taj Mahal. Vijayanagara kingdom used this same style when building temples in the Deccan region exemplified by Jain temples at Khajuraho.

Charles Correa’s contemporary Bharat Bhavan in Bhopal stands as an outstanding example of traditional wisdom blended into contemporary architectural design. Its sunken courtyards evoke regional gadi house forms while its exterior skin is punctured with openings to cool it using principles like the Venturi effect and the Bernoulli principle.