Architecture is one of the defining elements of human history. Through the years, architectural styles and materials have developed and changed along with the culture. Many architectural wonders built hundreds or even thousands of years ago still stand today. Modern builders can use some of the same materials. Here are some of the most timeless materials in architecture.


If you’ve ever been anywhere in Europe or even to a historic town in the United States, you’ve probably seen an old stone building. Stone is a very sturdy natural material. Historically, builders from all cultures would stack stones on top of one another to create buildings, pillars, and other forms of architecture. These days, stone can still be used on the interior or exterior of both residential and commercial buildings, but the material is usually used as an accent rather than the core material of most structures.


Marble is an attractive, durable type of stone that the ancient Greeks often used in their art and architecture. Marble is still used in architecture today and valued for its unique, swirled appearance and variety of colors. Countertops, pillars, and fireplaces are some of the most common uses for the material.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has only been around for a couple hundred years, but it has quickly become one of the most popular materials to use in architecture. It’s valued for its low maintenance, durability, strength, and classy appearance. Stainless steel has a number of architectural uses, but it’s particularly stunning when used on the exteriors of buildings.


Wood is yet another of the most timeless materials in architecture. There are many varieties to choose from, including pine, oak, and cedar. Each of these types of wood has a different appearance, so it’s easy for people to find one they like. In architecture, wood can be used structurally, on a building’s exterior, or in details of its interior. Wood flooring is a popular choice, and in addition, most furniture is made from the material.

In your next architectural project, consider using one of these timeless materials. Whether you use them on the exterior or interior of your building, these materials will help your structure remain sturdy and look impressive for years to come.

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Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.