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Decorative Capitals
Decorative Capitals

Roman Columns

Greek architecture inspired the Romans to create an architectural style heavily influenced by classic Greek elements, but unique in its own right. Although Roman architects applied columns evolved from Greek architecture to their temples and buildings, they were often able to use the columns in new ways due to advancements in building technologies.

The columns of ancient Greece and Rome are known as "orders". Greek architects developed the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian orders to carry the massive weight of stone temple and building roofs. The design and artistry of the Greek column becomes increasingly decorative as it progresses through the three respective orders. The Romans, in turn, took aesthetic appeal to new heights.

After campaigns throughout Greece, the Romans began to adopt the Greek architectural style, and developed the Tuscan and Composite orders. The Tuscan column is a simplified version of the Doric. The Tuscan column features a round shaft (of increased stockiness when compared to the Doric column), as well as a simple base, capitol and entablature. The Tuscan order was often used in industrial and military buildings.

Perhaps the most elaborate of the Roman columns is the Composite, which is a combination of the Greek Ionic and Corinthian columns. The Ionic and Corinthian columns both feature fluted shafts, but their distinctly different capitols set them apart, and were used to achieve different aesthetic goals. The Ionic capitol, which features a flat scroll with two curled volutes, has a cleaner, more sober appearance than the Corinthian column, which features an upside-down bell shape, decorated by free flowing acanthus leaves. The Corinthian order was the most festively designed, and yet the most rarely used of the three Greek columns.

The Composite order is overwhelmingly Corinthian in shape, with thin, up-turned volutes emerging from the acanthus leaves. With some versions, the volutes are almost lost among the foliage. The Romans also incorporated figures and various types of foliage, such as olive and laurel into the Compositeís capitol, and added elements like detailed molding rings to column shafts.

The development of concrete had a huge impact on Roman architecture. It replaced marble, and was often covered in elaborate tile work. The strength of concrete allowed the Romans to break free of the restraints of Greek architectural design, and into more flexible, and free-flowing spaces.

The Romans also developed the arch and dome, which was often supported by columns, as opposed to the Greek columns, which were primarily arranged in square and rectangles, and only supported flat architraves.

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Endura-Series™ Columns offers a wide range of architectural and decorative fiberglass and composite columns for residential and commercial installation, including round and square architectural fiberglass columns, wood columns, stone columns, polyurethane and stone balustrade systems, porch systems.
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