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Demetri Porphyrios

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Title: Demetri Porphyrios  
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Subject: Princeton University, Whitman College, Princeton University, Pier Carlo Bontempi, New Classical architecture, Abdel-Wahed El-Wakil
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Demetri Porphyrios

Demetri Porphyrios (Greek: Δημήτρης Πορφύριος; born 1949) is a Greek architect and author who practices architecture in London as principal of the firm Porphyrios Associates. In addition to practice and writing, Porphyrios has held a number of teaching positions in the United States, the United Kingdom and Greece. He is currently a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture.

He is a representative of New Classical Architecture. Most of his buildings resemble traditional architecture such as Gothic and Greco-Roman Classical buildings.

Porphyrios' Whitman College, Princeton University, Princeton, USA (built 2002)


Porphyrios's Ph. D. thesis from Princeton on the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto was later published as the book: Sources of Modern Eclecticism (Academy Editions, London, 1983). To this day, it is regarded as the most astute theoretical analysis of Aalto's architecture ever made, being concerned not so much with formal analysis or historical chronology but rather with a structuralist analysis (and in this regard he gives reference to philosophers Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser) of Aalto's works in terms of the themes that can be said to have generated them; such as typology, urbanism and nature. What he ended up arguing is that Aalto was in many ways the end of the line for modernist architecture. Such a viewpoint is then carried through in Porphyrios's other writings (and most evident in his own architecture) where he has argued for a 'classicism without style', what he has also referred to as Doricism. Ironically, it was a similar style that dominated Scandinavia in the early decades of the 20th century, so-called Nordic Classicism, epitomised by the work of Kay Fisker in Denmark, Gunnar Asplund in Sweden, and the early work of Alvar Aalto in Finland.


Porphyrios was a regular contributor to the journal Architectural Design during the 1980s, championing classical and vernacular architecture under the reasoning of a rational architecture. In 2002, he was commissioned to design a residential college (Whitman College) at Princeton University in the neo-Gothic style.


  • Demetri Porphyrios, Sources of Modern Eclecticism. London, Academy Editions, 1982.
  • Demetri Porphyrios, Classical Architecture. London, Andreas Papadakis Publishers, 1998.
  • Demetri Porphyrios, Selected Buildings & Writings (Architectural Monographs No 25). London, Academy Editions, 1993.
  • Demetri Porphyrios, Building and Rational Architecture. London, Academy Editions, 1995.

External links

  • article on Whitman CollegePrinceton Weekly Bulletin
  • Porphyrios Associates
  • Yale School of Architecture
  • Porphyrios, Demetri

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