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Peru Architecture Style -Three Periods & Building Designs

Peru Architecture or Peruvian architecture is the seamless blend of modern technology and ancient buildings. It is known for its rich heritage and wonderful styles including European styles and varied elements drawing historic inspiration.

Peru Architecture Style -Three Periods & Building Designs

Each building holds specific significance and tells a geographical story, represents a tradition & a cultural uniqueness. The Peru buildings show acceptability for a variety of climates, art, and religious beliefs.

Three Categories / Periods of Architecture in Peru

Architecture in Peru is divided into three main styles or we can say three architectural periods in Peru.

1. Pre-Columbian Architecture of Peru – Pre-Columbian Architecture is large and unique. These types of architecture have been in existence for thousands of years. Pre-Columbian Peru sites are made of large stones that are fixed together without the use of any kind of mortar or glue. They look like a puzzle from the far. Some of these builds are even constructed on gravel and can withstand earthquakes. Sites like Pachacámac, Machu Picchu, Chavín de Huantar, and La Huaca del Sol are famous antique archaeological spots. Another example of pre-Columbian architecture in Peru is Inca buildings in South America, they are built with topological materials. What they used to build depended on its location such as if it was near the coast, they used big blocks made of mud, and in the mountains, they used rocks from nearby. 

2. Colonial Architecture of Peru – The combination of European and indigenous imagery is called Colonial Architecture in Peru; it came between the 16th to 19th centuries. It happened after the Spanish conquered the last Inca stronghold and he started to rebuild the cities. However, luckily, these cities preserved the original elements such as the grid streets of Cusco. Even though these buildings have a European style, like the white stucco walls and fancy wooden balconies, you can still spot a lot of Inca influence as well. Some well-known buildings from colonial Peru are Palacio de Torre Tagle and Casa de Osambela in Lima, and Cathedral of Cusco.

3. Contemporary Architecture of Peru – With the growing economy and the changing periods, Peru maintained the integrity of ancient and traditional architecture. Most of the modern architectural buildings draw inspiration from historic backgrounds. The modern city of Peru like Lima is a great example that attracts visitors from around the world. It is a colonial city and its beauty has been preserved since then and modified with modern techniques. Additionally, rural areas still rely upon historic construction methods and materials, and use adobe bricks, wooden roofs and clay tiles; that effortlessly make them adorable and even lasting for the climatic conditions of the region.

List of Famous Buildings Architecture From Peru

Here are some of the most remarkable architecture peru that holds cultural and historic importance –

1. Casa de Osambela – Built-in 1807, Case de Osambela or Case de Oquendo architecture in Peru was one of the largest houses during the Colonial Viceroyalty period. The family members were great bankers, merchants and ship owners. It was later declared a National Monument in 1963 due to its cultural heritage richness. The interior is inspired by the French Rococo ornament style, and the rooms are parallel to the streets. This Peruvian architecture has four elevations that were made anti-seismic, spectacular staircases, narrow passageways, and five styles of balconies. 

2. The UDEP Campus – UDEP or Universidad de Piura is a university campus in the capital city (Lima) of Peru. It provides studies in various streams. The beauty of this stunning infrastructure is that it was never designed to gain such tourist attention but to provide education only. It has around half a region of reclaimed desert and is now a home for trees, peacocks, lizards, deer, foxes etc. The building offers great ventilation and an open space to study comfortably. Besides, the campus has 11 buildings with attractive styles, giving plenty of natural light and air. 

3. Paracas Museum – Resembling pre-Columbic architecture in Peru is the Paracas Museum, a significant part of the landscaping and biological reserve of the Peruvian coastal desert. It is a modern Peru architecture speaking of an amalgam of contemporary & traditional styles. Constructed in the desert, this exceptional Museum smoothly complements the surroundings with the concrete and smooth cement finish. Also, the cement is one of a kind that is resistant to salt.

4. PUCP Library – PUCP library is one of the most magnificent architecture in Peru. It has very unique geometric figures, sharp angles, and cuts in the structure. It looks like an innovative masterpiece with several glass windows aiming for smooth sunlight access. This structure blends with the surroundings and complements the ground and the sky with its acute angles.

5. San Pedro Apostol de Andahuaylillas Church – This mesmerizing church is full of art. It has fancy ceilings, great artistic walls, rich materials, decoration and paintings hung. Ceilings’ art is influenced by the Mudejar style, paintings by Luis de Riano, and art from the Cusquena School. These wall paintings are made of cedar wood and have very heavy frames. Gold leaf is also used for extra richness and royalty. This Peruvian architecture is a great tourist attraction.

6. Plaza Cultural Norte – Another great contemporary Peru architecture is Plaza Cultural Norte designed for the community. People come here every day for evening/ morning walks, jogging, get-togethers, etc. It was built in 2016 by Oscar Gonzalez Moix at La Molina, Peru. It has both formal and informal construction styles, surrounded by residential spaces, making easy access for residents. The basic concept was to make a place for gatherings in nature giving all necessary elements, a great façade with a patio, and also a space for more privacy. The interior of Plaza Cultural Norte is very sophisticated, has great lighting on pathways and the exterior is decorated with adequate vegetation.

7. Historic Center of Cusco – Cusco means, the Navel of the Earth. It is the gateway of Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. This spacious Peruvian architecture has a different energy. It is related to the palaces of Inca rulers and has built-in surroundings. This centre is the heart of Imperial City. It was renovated by Inca ruler Pachacutec and was known as Huacaypata during his reign. At that time, this famous building in Peru was used for the worship of the dead.

The Conclusion

Due to the fact that the Architecture in Peru is strategically designed keeping in mind the climate, culture, art and innovation, it is rare. Thus, Peruvian architecture teaches us to blend the construction with the beauty of our surroundings and the natural landscaping with the needs of the time. Peru buildings offer us a lot to learn and therefore they hold the utmost importance in the world of architecture.