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Common Styles of Architecture in Utah

Drive through any neighborhood in Salt Lake City, and you’ll see a predominant theme of architectural styles from the eras when those homes were built. Utah’s rich architectural history is evident in the variety of buildings you see around town, from pioneer-era homes to post-modern skyscrapers. 

When you think of Utah’s most common architectural styles, you might think of the WWII bungalows built for the baby boom generation. Or, the grand Victorian manses built by the millionaires of the gilded age that line 200 South.

Lately, the predominant architectural styles in Utah are modern and contemporary, from the rustic mountain modern residences sprinkled throughout Utah’s Wasatch and Uinta mountain ranges to the fresh, contemporary multi-use apartment buildings rising in the Sugarhouse districts. Utah architects are famous for making everything old new again, and popular styles from bygone eras are being updated with contemporary designs.

Here are a few of the common architectural styles in Utah that property owners are currently choosing.

Farmhouse | Common Architectural Styles in Utah | Think Architecture

Modern Farmhouse

In Utah, architects take inspiration from the sweeping pastoral farmlands resting in the shadows of the Wasatch Mountains. Where sheep once grazed, new developments are rising, and those homes still capture the essence of an idyllic, rural farm.

The modern farmhouse architectural style is characterized by clean contemporary lines fused with the cozy chic vibe of yesteryear’s country farm buildings. Material palettes include wood and steel, usually painted in a textured cream or other neutral.

What separates a modern farmhouse from more traditional farmhouse styles is the sleek finishes and use of natural light with large windows taking the place of timber-clad walls. Still, similarities remain between the two styles in the A-frame rooflines and large barn-style lofts.

Industrial Chic | Common Architectural Styles in Utah | Think Architecture

Industrial Chic

Lately, industrial chic has come into vogue, with people valuing the appearance of a utilitarian and well-used building. Unfinished walls, exposed piping and ductwork, and distressed and worn flooring are the hallmarks of industrial architecture and design.

The influence of the 1700s industrial revolution is evident in this architectural style, and the simplicity of a no-frills look is the new aesthetic of sophisticates. Because the industrial architectural style lends itself to a wide range of interior design opportunities, people enjoy its flexibility. They can choose retro, contemporary, steampunk, or modern interior designs to complement the industrial architecture and either broadcast a bold color scheme or neutrals.

Industrial design is often used in repurposed or adaptive reuse projects where old factories are converted into multi-use office spaces, retail centers, or apartment buildings. This eco-friendly approach reduces landfill waste and often revitalizes depressed areas in cities where production facilities no longer operate.

Contemporary Glass Walls | Common Architectural Styles in Utah | Think Architecture

Contemporary Glass Walls

Glass is an architect’s most flexible and adaptive material. It can be shaped, tinted, mirrored, or frosted. Windows are the best way to bring the outdoors in while still protecting the building’s interior from the elements.

Contemporary glass buildings feature boxy, geometrical shapes and floor-to-ceiling windows that diffuse natural light throughout the entire structure. Our Utah architects utilize glass architecture to take advantage of Utah’s spectacular outdoor environment and to allow the landscape to be a natural decorative element when viewing out from the building.

Glass buildings can be entirely composed of glass with a steel framework or paired with stone, steel, wood, and other composites to create a dynamic exterior. These contemporary buildings are often decorated with minimalist and modern interior designs.

Mountain Modern architectural design style | Utah architects firm | Think Architecture

Rustic Mountain Modern

In Utah’s resort towns and canyons, rustic mountain modern buildings seem to sprout as naturally from the land as the surrounding spruces and aspens. This intentional natural look carries all the luxury of a getaway spa or resort and produces the calming, restorative environment that nature provides.

Rustic mountain modern homes still have the sleek lines and polished finishes of contemporary buildings but use materials derived from the local landscape. Wood and stone are the primary materials used and are rough-hewn or left with their natural finish.

These bright, open buildings are a sharp contrast to old cramped log cabins, with open floor plans and tall, airy ceilings. Expansive windows look out into the beauty of the surrounding mountainscape.

Minimalist Architecture Style | Common Architectural Styles in Utah | Think Architecture


The minimalist architectural style is still popular and derives from the Art Deco or Bauhaus architectural movements. Buildings without ornamentation and clean, straight lines are considered minimalist, but their seeming simplicity is deceptively luxurious.

A minimalist home emphasizes form and function and provides a pleasing, clean, and clutter-free environment that allows freedom of mind and movement. Modern minimalist homes have open floor plans with synchronized geometrical elements that promote a free flow throughout the space. This purity gives you a sense of order and unification.

Architectural Styles by Utah Architects at Think Architecture

Browse through our portfolio of contemporary and modern architecture projects to see how Think Architecture is shaping Utah’s landscape. Find out why Think Architecture is one of Utah’s most sought-after architecture firms to create today’s popular architectural styles. If you have a project or vision, give us a call at (801) 269-0055.

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