What is an
column in architecture and structural engineering is a vertical
structural element that transmits through compression the weight of
the structure above to other structural elements below.
Architectural Columns may support a roof or a
beams or they may be purely decorative. The bottom portion of the
Columns is referred to as the "base." The top of a column is referred
to as the "capital."
A Column in the world of architecture
refers specifically to such a
structural element that also has certain proportional and decorative
features; thereby the term "Architectural Column." If
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Other compression members are often termed
columns because of the similar stress conditions. Columns can be
either compounded of parts or made as a single piece.
Columns are frequently used to
support beams or arches on which the upper parts of walls or
Today, almost two and a half millennia after
the completion of that most perfect
particular element of classical architecture continues to transform
many ordinary structures and office buildings into impressive
the Greeks and Romans, the column, although obviously ornamental,
was also structural, since it supported the roof. There are five
types of classical columns, the earliest (dating to about 600 B.C.)
was the Doric, followed by Ionic, Corinthian, Composite, and Tuscan
(16th Century). The Greeks preferred the Doric and Ionic styles; the
Romans, the more ornate Corinthian or the combination style known as
on the history of columns here.
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