Plaster Columns for Exterior Architectural Design

Blog |May 11th, 2017

Plaster columns can be designed in varied styles, in either modern and classical modes or combinations of both. Four standard column styles that are popular today in exterior architectural design are fluted, large fluted, tapered and plain straight. Of course, the choice of column type for a building’s exterior design depends on the overall architectural design of the structure, although mixing styles is also in vogue currently, if done tastefully. Actually, all column work now produced in plaster for outdoor use is still based on classical column designs used since their original creation during the
Classical Greek and Roman eras. After their original design in plaster, these beautiful columns can be reproduced in stone, concrete or other similar building material.

Major Elements of Classical Greek and Roman Style Prevailing in Current Column Designs

As well as the basic styles listed above, column designs are generally of the following types:

• Round Smooth;
• Round Fluted;
• Square Smooth;
• Square Fluted; or
• Smooth Tapered or Non-Tapered.

Primary column cap designs (located at the column top) feature elements of the Classical Greek and Roman styles, as used to suit the Victorian and Edwardian eras, that are still prevalent in modern architectural design for building exteriors today. These plaster column cap designs include the following:

Round Column Caps

• Roman Corinthian. – Ornate with natural themes or symbols related to Roman history or legends.

• Simplistic Doric and Tuscan. – Smooth, simple, squared designs without any ornate or symbolic decoration.

• Roman Ionic. – Stylized design with curled forms resembling ram’s horns.

Square Column Caps

• Square Tuscan. – Streamlined, squared and simplistic designs that direct the viewer’s attentions downward to the column itself.

Common Use of Varied Column Designs Today

Community centers and government buildings or office complexes that feature classical or period architecture often include exterior plaster column designs of the same or similar architectural style as the overall structure’s design. These columns may frame the main entrance to the building or line the walkway leading to the structure. They may also support a side portico in buildings with a distinct classical style. Some buildings with tall, impressive fronts and entrances feature a series of classical or semi classical columns on the upper level above the entrance, often accompanied by a long balcony or series of separate window balconies overlooking the entrance.

In today’s popular architectural design for both residential and commercial buildings, ornate or simplistic column designs are often used to emphasize or embellish certain structural elements of a building exterior. For example, in expansive homes of one to three floors in height, the strong horizontal lines of the overall design may be offset by slender or tapered tall columns at or near the front of the structure. Classical columns are also often placed along a terraced or tiered walkway adjoining a home with rounded geometrical forms to add elegance and a sense of age to an otherwise newly built structure.

If you are working with architects and builders on plans for constructing a new home or commercial building today and want to include columns in your building’s blueprint, be sure to contact the expert plaster column designers and craftspeople at Hopkins Plaster Studio Pty Ltd in Dandenong South, Victoria. These expert plaster designers and artisans can best advise you concerning the ideal columns for your new structure. They can also produce your final choice of column styles to perfectly complement and accentuate your new home or office building’s exterior.

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