The term derives from J Roosval in J Kidder Smith, where he is quoted as saying that Ragnar Östberg's City Hall is 'the ripe, late fruit of national romanticism.'
In an attempt to slip the yoke of Imperialism, those South African architects who searched for a national architectural idiom cast their eyes to the architectures of northern Europe. Their work thus shows diverse stylistic influences, but central to their endeavour is an expression of the use of local material and decorative devices. There is usually an underlying classicism, thus sometimes the use of classical elements, although often in modern guise. (Chipkin, C. 1993. Part Four. Chapter Nine. The National Question. In Johannesburg style. Architecture & society 1880s - 1960s. Cape Town: David Philip. Frampton, K. 1985. Capter 22. Alvar Aalto and the Nordic tradition: National Romanticism and the Doricist sensibility 1895-1957. In Modern Architecture a critical history (revised & enlarged edition. London: Thames & Hudson)
Buildings on this website in National Romanticism style