Demetri Porphyrios

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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.

Porphyrios is an exponent of New Classical Architecture, and many of his buildings have been designed in the Gothic and classical idioms.


Porphyrios studied at Princeton University where he earned a Master of Architecture and a Ph.D. in the History and Theory of Architecture. He wrote his Ph. D. thesis on the Finnish architect Alvar Aalto, published later as Sources of Modern Eclecticism (London: Academy Editions, 1983). The work was a structuralist analysis of Aalto's architecture, influenced by the philosophers Michel Foucault and Louis Althusser, in which Porphyrios described the themes he believed had generated Aalto's work (typology, urbanism and nature), while arguing that Aalto's work was the end of the line for modernist architecture. In his writing, Porphyrios advocated a "classicism without style" (which he called "Doricism"), similar to the Nordic Classicism that prevailed in early 20th century Scandinavia in the work of architects like Kay Fisker in Denmark, Gunnar Asplund in Sweden, and in the early work of Alvar Aalto in Finland.

Porphyrios' Whitman College, Princeton University, Princeton, USA (completed 2007).


In the 1980s, Porphyrios regularly contributed to the journal Architectural Design, championing classical and vernacular architecture as a rational architecture. In 2002, Princeton University commissioned him to design a residential college (Whitman College) in the Collegiate Gothic style, completed in 2007.

Notable Works[edit]

  • Ann's Court, Selwyn College, Cambridge, UK (2003)
  • Duncan Galleries, Nebraska, USA (2002)
  • Interamerican Headquarters Office Building, Athens, Greece (2002)
  • Pitiousa town, Spetses, Greece (1993)
  • Three Brindleyplace Office Building, Birmingham, UK (1998)
  • Whitman College, Princeton University, USA (2007)

Written Works[edit]

  • 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[edit]