Looking at Buildings

, printed from the Looking at Buildings website on Wednesday 27th October 2021

Conventional Classical Features

ordersGlossary Term [1], many other conventional features make up the classicalGlossary Term [2] language of architecture.

The porticoGlossary Term [3] derives directly from the classicalGlossary Term [4] temple. It is made up of columns or pilasters, usually with a pedimentGlossary Term [5] on top. A porticoGlossary Term [6] often marks the major entrance to a building.

gableGlossary Term [7] of a temple, they were also used decoratively over doorways, windows or niches, especially by the Romans. Curved segmental pediments may also appear alongside or instead of triangular ones. A range of windows may have an alternating row of pediments, triangular and segmental.

broken pedimentGlossary Term [8] omits the central upper part or the whole centre, an open pedimentGlossary Term [9](shown) the centre of the architraveGlossary Term [10] or lower part.

An aediculeGlossary Term [11] is a surround with a pedimentGlossary Term [12] and often also two small columns or pilasters. The word comes from the Latin for 'little building.'

QuoinsGlossary Term [13] are rusticated blocks used at the ends or angles of a building.

Parapets may be ornamented with urns or vases, or with balustrades, which have uprights of various forms usually quite unlike full-scale columns. Balustrades like this also appear on some staircases.

Other classicalGlossary Term [14] forms were taken over from Egyptian architecture, notably the obeliskGlossary Term [15] and the pyramid. These were used as the basis for new monuments, and sometimes also decoratively, on a small scale.

ClassicalGlossary Term [16] architecture has always accommodated ornamental sculpture, whether as grand figure groups in pediments, statues on parapets or pedestals, or relief panels of various kinds.

Other common mouldings and enrichmentsGlossary Term [17] associated with the classicalGlossary Term [18] styles are illustrated in the glossary.

London, Lodge, Euston Station
London, Taviton Street, Bloomsbury
Westminster Bank (former)

Last updated: Saturday, 25th April 2009