Critical Regionalism in architecture has nothing to do with the commonly understood regionalism, which refers to the local architectural tradition. It was created in the 80s of the twentieth century. The name of this style of architecture was spread by Keneth Frampton, the critic of a modern architecture.
Its theorist was French – Paul Ricour, who preached the philosophy of proportion. He wanted to continue the tradition and modernize it at the same time. He supported relying on trait taken from modernism, which is the universal value of the object, taking into account the geographical context of the building ("local tectonic forms", climate, light, topography). For Ricoura ways of building formation, forms, due to the history and the context of the place and its geography, were important.
Critical Regionalism can be called reformed modernism. Since, modernism was one of the earlier styles of architecture, to which critical regionalism referred.
The prototype of critical regionalism architecture became Säynätsalo City Hall, designed by Alvar Aalto. Aalto blended his modernist building in the surrounding forest. He introduced brick elements, wood floors, stairs and smooth irregular surfaces. For the project of this object he used models taken directly from nature, as well as local materials. Aalto, when creating his town hall, was guided by the principle of critical regionalism – honesty of the material and the design.
Representatives of critical regionalism in architecture are for example: Alvar Aalto, Mario Botta, Tadao Ando, Geoffrey Bawa, Charles Correa, Juha Leiviska, Rafael Moneo, Glen Murcutt, Raj Rewal and Jorn Utzon.
The most famous architectural realizations in critical regionalism are: Säynätsalo Town Hall in Finland, Azuma House in Osaka Japan, Fabrica Benetton Research Center
Treviso, Italy, The House of Art of Hombroich Langen foundation in Germany, Modern Art Museum Fort Worth in Texas (USA), the Parliament building in Sri Lanka, Reykjavík
Art Museum in Iceland, the City Library of Dortmund (Germany), Bank für Internationalen Zahlungsausgleich Basel and the Church of Sts. John the Baptist Mogno in Switzerland, Cathedral of Evry (France), Sabarmati Ashram Ahmed in India, Sydney Opera House (Australia) or Synagogue Cymbalista in Tel Aviv, Israel.