If been done.” Such spirit created diversity of

If one were to
ask what is post-modernism, one might be stuck in the loop as there is no legit
definition to the term nor the exact time of when the concept started. Thinkers,
philosophers describe it differently and it became several things at once. Many
would agree on that it is a movement, a global transformation on arts,
philosophy, design, architecture which happened after the modernism period from
the mid to late 20th century.

Jean-François
Lyotard categorized postmodern as “incredulity towards metanarratives” meaning
an abandonment of all things explained historically and universally based on
reasons, truth, science, etc. with globalization, different experiences and
cultural backgrounds, theories on interpreting the world may not be relevant to
all people; hence, there is no absolute truth. Facts are blurred,
self-realization are praised, opinions matter.

Postmodern
characteristics are in the form of any reactions and rejection toward
modernism. In architecture, Roberts Venturi expressed it as “complexity and
contradiction”, buildings are accumulating from various forms, unrelated colors
and textures, with combinations of new elements and pastime features. The
contrast in such manners introduced a new style in architecture. The buildings
can also be fragmentized its space into several different functions making it
appear as small town or village. Asymmetrical form and color are also
significant traits of postmodernism, they offer variety and personalities to
building, a method in avoiding the modernism label which some claims it to be
formal and boring.

Rules are
abandoned and self-expression is key. Jean-François
Lyotard wrote:  “a
postmodern artist or writer is in the position of a philosopher: the text he
writes, the work he produces are not in principle governed by pre-established
rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgment, by
applying familiar categories to the text or to the work. Those rules and
categories are what the work of art itself is looking for. The artist and the
writer, then, are working without rules in order to formulate the rules of what
will have been done.” Such spirit created diversity of expression and style in
many factors, architecture included.

From
breaking free from the norm, architecture in postmodernism emphasizes more on,
aesthetic form, style and design in order to create new means of designing
building rather than the function which was deeply practiced during modernism. The
freedom of expression creates a more free form, sculptural like and non-architectural
structure in buildings and layout in Public spaces, abandoning the formal rule
of style.  Some were inspired from one
single source of unusual item one would find odd in style and some from various
sources combining to establish a new unique and decorative buildings. One big
trend in postmodernism is shopping mall in which its whole function and layout
are different from traditional market. The concept of it being in a huge closed
space, like a city inside the city, where one can find almost everything within
the interior fabric is quite a transformation in public space and social life.

One
example of postmodern building is No1 Pultry located in London. It was designed
by architect James Stirling and was completed in 1997. The function of building
are not what a conventional and classical building would serve since it holds
various purposes such as retail shops, offices, restaurant and even a manicured
roof garden. The style is somewhat bold and unsubtle for it drew from divers
inspiration, a foremost characteristic of postmodern architecture. First off, the
pointed front façade consists of clock tower with a standing tall flag and the
balcony behind appears as though it was a front of a ship, a titanic, where
Jack and Rose look out to the horizon. The building assembled from several
shapes with the other 2 sided long facades comprise of layers alternating
between angled and curve form and distinctive striped of pink stone. Other
reference includes the ancient Egyptian aura at the entry corridor and the
mimics of Greek and Roman rostral columns. Inside, there is cylinder shaped
courtyard, with irregular colored windows and wall forming another shape, a
triangular light-well. Various design elements seem to propose an idea of
children toys with playful combinations of shapes, forms, colors and patterns.
Sterling rejected No 1 Pultry being label as a postmodern building; however, he
did admitted that the style was a result from avoiding the “grey” architectural
mainstream.