The Greeks have been known for their famous practices in architecture and construction. Much of what Greeks have done has helped modern humans in improving on to their practices by better construction techniques. There are different 3 types of Greek Column structures which include the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns.
However, these are not used today because they have been replaced with modern column architectures which are much more resistant in holding weight, are stronger, and much efficient to produce as well. Find out more about such columns in the article below.
What exactly are Columns?
In the 21st century, columns are often referred to as pillars. They are used to provide height to a particular structure as well as provide support to a top structure. For example, there are high chances that the upper portion of your homes is being held by multiple tall columns as well as the walls. Columns have been an old phenomenon and were first produced in 8th Century B.C by the Greeks.
Why are Columns used?
Many people have the particular question as to why columns are used for the structural support when the walls can just do the same task. For one reason, walls are thinner and usually have a one or two brick thick structure which is not sufficiently enough. In addition to that, the columns are particularly used so that a structure is able to resist the different types of natural disasters that occur such as the Earthquakes, floods, and other such catastrophes that may disintegrate the entire structure.
Since columns are heavy with filled shafts, there is extra support that resists these disasters. In addition to that, columns are also used to signify the entry of a special building that carries a certain value. For example, the Temple of Athena Nike is known for the large and tall columns that have held the structure around for so many years now.
The Bungalow Columns
The Bungalow Columns got popular in the 20th century as a part of modern American Architecture. Railroad network had improved as well as there was an improvement in the overall economy leading to better wages and salaries. This meant that there was a push in the demand for personal houses.
This type of column was not associated with the classical columns. It has a tapered and square shaped design while most of the Greek columns have been rounded. Houses built in America over the past 100 years have mostly used the Bungalow Columns especially when they have to be made as earthquake resistant ones.
An exotic form of columns which has become popular in the skyscrapers today is the Solomonic Columns. These are also known as Barley-Sugar columns and are in the shape of a spiral shaft. It appears as a corkscrew and is mainly known for its unique design. There is no specific classical order that is associated with this kind of column. It has been used in only a few structures of the ancient times so as to ornament the buildings through better designing.
One of the biggest live standing examples where the architecture is based mainly on Solomonic Columns is the Church of the Holy Sepulcher which is based in Jerusalem. Today, modern craftsmen use this type of a spiral structure in England, France, and Netherland in most traditional building renovations as well as newer building constructions.
Perhaps the most recent newly added design to the columns is the Postmodern Column which is designed in a neoclassical style. The postmodern architecture came into existence in the 1960s with the industrial revolution just taking place. The style further flourished in the 1980s and 1990s when the tall towers were being constructed. This led to much popularity of the postmodern columns towards modern constructions.
It was originally designed by Pritzker Laureate Philip Johnson. Johnson overdid the columns when he designed the Town Hall in 1996. Although they were meant for celebrations, they added more to the overall design as well as the security of the entire building. Currently, there are more than 50 columns that hide the building itself.
The Romanesque Columns were first used in the 1850s and onwards in Rome. The massive Roman arches used these in the Romanesque Homes. Henry Hobson Richardson was the guy behind the creation of these columns. Unlike other pillar structures, these columns are quite different because they are square in shape as well as they rest on the trapezium bases which are quite big in their size. To add more to their design, they have floral and other decorations on their capital.
Mainly, the Romanesque Columns are used in the Mission Homes or the Craftsman Homes but can be used in other types of buildings side by side. The most important element of the Romanesque Columns is that they come with more and massive piers. In the modern times, they are used in Italy and Germany.
Up until now, we have mentioned many different types of columns which are built with a particular design or the capital being of a unique shape. However, the Tuscan columns are quite different as they are very simple and depict a plain smooth structure. It has a simple shaft, capital, and a base which is why it is mainly used for only support purposes and not designing. The unfluted shaft is a key symbol in the Tuscan order. The capital of this type of column consists of an echinus and abacus only.
As compared to a Doric column, this one has a smaller height and structure. In the roman architect, these structures were said to be one of the strongest ones and lasted longer because there was more focus on the final built quality and the construction of these columns rather than the design element.
Fluted Columns are a form of the Egyptian architecture and were initially formed in the Step Pyramid Enclosure of Djoser. Modern day structures are considered to be much better and efficient which is why the Fluted Columns have become less popular over time. The design of these types of columns resembles the bundled reeds and plant stamps. In historical context, many historians suggest that these were the first ever columns that were produced from stone.
Today, these columns are no longer used in any kind of infrastructure anywhere in the world. Other forms of Egyptian columns include Palmiform, Papyriform, Coniform and others. The main usage of these columns has been in Egypt where the Pyramids have been built.
Composite Columns are not any of the particular order on their own, but they are simply a mix and blend of the other different types of columns. These columns have the volutes of the ionic column while the leaves of the Corinthian order. Although they were not the columns that were introduced by the Greek, they were inspired by the Greek order columns. Composite order columns are usually 10 diameters in height. Composite columns are a combination of two traditional structural forms: structural steel and structural concrete.
Composite Columns are a mix of structural steel and concrete to provide solid integrity to the structure as well as benefit from the properties of both materials by having a column produced which is not only long lasting but efficient as well. This is a stiff column and is quite cost effective which is why it is often used in the different types of households. Bridge constructions are often done with the help of composite columns.
Many of the buildings constructed today also have the steel columns within them as a structural support. Steel columns are considered better than concrete columns because of their strength. These are known to be the strongest columns as compared to all the other ones that have been mentioned above. Steel columns are also used in many buildings as well as mega infrastructures such as in the case of a steel suspension bridge.
However, one of the main drawbacks of steel columns is that they are very expensive to form. Many environmentalists consider the steel columns to be a wastage of resource especially if they are installed at a place where there is no need for the steel columns. Due to being expensive, they are not used in common everyday buildings such as houses.
The Greeks have definitely done a great work for architecture which is why modern buildings have sophisticated structures and columns. Nonetheless, there are other types of column structures as well, but the basic idea has still been taken from the Greek. Modern day columns are known to withstand twice the time as compared to the ancient Greek columns as well as these costs lower as well.