Deconstructivism is an assemblage of unrelated parts to form a building. Each building exhibits a bit of chaos and still refrains from utter confusion. Frank Gehry is credited with popularizing the style. The style is artistic in nature with no sensible logic presented. Disassembly of the building components and reassembly in a new way is inherent in the style. Architects designing in this style break away from rectilinear construction and explore new massing techniques. The "metaphysics of presence" as defined by Jacques Derrida is the main philosophy followed by deconstructivists.

Primary Stylistic Features
  • Unrelated forms.
  • Abstract in nature.
  • Smooth exterior surfaces.
  • Contrast of shapes and forms.
  • Large expanses of a single material (glass, metals, stones, etc.).
Secondary Stylistic Features
  • Window frames often hidden in the walls.
  • Simple metal frame doors.
  • Exposed materials.

Evaluation Considerations

Deconstructivist buildings are rare in Alaska and should be considered eligible individually.  These buildings must exhibit a majority of the primary features and some secondary features.  Integrity of design, materials, and workmanship are extremely important when evaluating this building style.  Setting is less important but still relevant in the assessment.  Location, feeling and association are not crucial.

For Further Information

Derrida, Jacques, Peter Eisenman, Jeffrey Kipnis, and Thomas Leeser.  Chora I Works.  New York: Monacelli Press. 1997

Johnson, Phillip and Mark Wigley. Deconstructivist Architecture: The Modern Museum of Art, New York. New York: Little Brown and Company, 1988

Wigley, Mark. The Architecture of Deconstruction: Derrida's Haunt, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 199