How to Select Decorative Wood Columns Using the Five Orders of Architecture

Posted on : February 26, 2011 | post in : Architectural Columns,Decorative Indoor Columns,Wood Columns |Leave a reply |
Decorative Wood Columns

Architectural Wood Columns

For centuries decorative wood columns have stood for strength, beauty, and authority. Today, they continue to grace the exteriors and interiors of some of the most beautiful residential, commercial and government buildings in the world.

The load bearing potential of wood columns makes them great for interior or exterior applications. In addition to the structural benefits of wood, rich wood columns can bring style, warmth and a feeling of security to any structure. Unlike columns made of other materials, authentic wood columns can be stained instead of painted, offering stunning aesthetics.

Those wishing to add decorative wood columns to a home or business, as accent or for structural purposes, should consider the five orders of architecture that have endured throughout the ages and choose the style that best suits the project and décor.

Architecturally correct wood columns like those made by Hartmann-Sanders, manufacturer of the largest selection of authentic architectural wood columns in the industry, are based on the three Grecian and two Latin orders of architecture, which are: Tuscan, Doric, Ionic, Corinthian and Composite. The shafts of both round wood columns and square wood columns may be plain or fluted, with the flutes being of either Doric or Ionic design.

1. Tuscan is the Latin order Vignola, noted for its massive simplicity. It comprises the fewest parts and appears capable of bearing the heaviest loads. Classically, the shaft length is seven times its diameter and plain rather than fluted.

2. The Doric column is next in strength and simplicity to the Tuscan. Quite often it is seen without a base, in imitation of trees. Classically, the shaft length is eight times its bottom diameter. Doric shafts may be plain or fluted by 20 shallow channels. The Romans adapted this Greek order by creating more decorative bases and capitals.

3. The classically correct Ionic column shaft is slightly more than nine times its bottom diameter in length, so it is more graceful than the Doric. Its easily recognizable capital is decorated with spiral volutes both in the original Greek and adapted Roman design. The shaft is often decorated with 24 semi circular flutes separated by flat edges or fillets.

4. The most slender (ten times the bottom diameter) belongs to the Greek Corinthian order and its adaptation, the Latin Composite. The Corinthian order features an inverted bell capital decorated with two tiers of eight stylized acanthus leaves, topped by volutes. The shaft is plain or fluted in the Ionic style.

5. This order is the Roman adaptation of the Corinthian order, with an even more ornate capital. It uses the same proportions for base, shaft, capital and entablature as the Corinthian order; the shaft, again, is plain or fluted in the Ionic style.

From the design of the capital to the proportions and shape of the column shaft, Hartmann-Sanders follows the standards of classic column design with exactness. For more than 100 years Hartmann-Sanders has been manufacturing the finest quality wood columns available, and helping architects, builders and do-it-yourselfers choose the perfect wood columns for the job.

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