orders of architecture

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1. In Classical architecture the elements making up the essential expression of a columnar and trabeated structure, including a column with (usually) base and capital, and entablature. There are eight distinct types of Classical Order:Greek Doric, Roman Doric, Greek Ionic, Roman Ionic, Greek Corinthian, Roman Corinthian, Tuscan (also known as the Gigantic Order), and Composite, although before the systematic rediscovery of Greek architecture in C18 the canonical 5 Orders (Tuscan, Roman Doric, Roman Ionic, Roman Corinthian, and Composite) were accepted, codified by Alberti, and illustrated by Serlio in 1537. The Greek Doric Order has no base, and sometimes (as in the Paestum Orders of Doric) the entasis is exaggerated and the capital is very large, with a wide projection over the shaft; the Ionic Order has variations in the design of its base (Asiatic and Attic types) and capital (especially in relation to angle, angular, and Bassae capitals where the problem of the corner volute is dealt with in different ways); and the Greek Corinthian capital (e.g. C4 BCChoragic Monument of Lysicrates, Athens) is taller and more elegant than its Roman counterpart. In London, Kent, and Sussex there is a unique type of English Ionic capital known as the Ammonite Order. See Agricultural, American, Ammonite, Britannic, Composite, Corinthian, Doric, Giant, Ionic, and Tuscan Orders.

2. Romanesque and Gothic arched opening consisting of several layers of arched openings usually with colonnettes, each smaller than the layer in front, and forming an Order Arch.


Chitham (1985);
J. Curl (2001);
Lewis & Darley (1986);
C. Normand (1852)

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orders of architecture: In classical tyles of architecture the various columnar types fall, in general, into the five so-called classical orders, which are named Doric, Ionic, Corinthian, Tuscan, and Composite. Each order comprises the column with its base, shaft, and capital and the supported part or entablature, consisting of architrave, frieze, and cornice. Each order has its own distinctive character, both as to relative proportions and as to the detail of its different parts. The entablature height is generally about one quarter that of the column; a pedestal, when used, is about one third the height of the column. For the Doric order, the Ionic order, and the Corinthian order, originally developed by the Greeks, the Roman writer Vitruvius attempted to formulate the proportionings of their parts. In Greece the Doric was the earliest order to develop, and it was used for the Parthenon and for most temples. The Corinthian was little used until the Romans adapted it. They employed it more than they did any other order and introduced brackets, or modillions, in its cornice. The Roman orders made greater use of ornament than the Greek, and their column proportions were more slender. In the 15th cent. Alberti revived an interest in the work of Vitruvius. At the same time, architects made drawings of Roman ruins and applied the Roman orders rather arbitrarily to building design. In the 16th cent. a more systematic use of orders was practiced. Architectural writers, notably Serlio, Scamozzi, Vignola, Palladio, and Sanmichele crystallized the Roman versions and additions (Tuscan and Composite) into the five definitely formulated orders, with minute rules of proportion. Philibert Delorme, Claude Perrault, Abraham Bosse, and Sir William Chambers were among those who composed treatises on the subject. Using the classical orders as a basis, the designers of the Renaissance and of subsequent periods created many variations. However, during the classic revival, a strict adherence to the proportions of the original Greek and Roman models became the rule. Though 20th-century architects are aware of the orders, they no longer use them.

See J. Summerson, Classical Language of Architecture (1966).

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orders of architecture In classical architecture, style and decoration of a column, its base, capital and entablature. Of the five orders, the Greeks developed the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian. The Tuscan and Composite orders were Roman adaptations. A typical Doric column has no base, a relatively short shaft with surface fluting meeting in a sharp edge and an unornamented capital. The Ionic order is characterized by slender columns with 24 flutes and prominent spiral scrolls on the capitals. The Corinthian is the most ornate of the Classical orders of architecture. A typical Corinthian column has a high base, sometimes with a pedestal, a slim, fluted column and a bell-shaped capital with acanthus-leaf ornament.