The Classical Orders Are At Your Fingertips

So, you need to work out the proportions of Doric or Ionic column and you left your reference books at home. They must be on the web, right? Yes they are, if you look in the right place.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art has a nice on-line reference of the five orders that’s very clear and easy to use. You can download each of the pages as a PDF, or just bookmark the site for easy reference. You can find it here.

Each of the drawings is accompanied by a brief but thorough explanation of the order and the proportions and nomenclature for each of the components.

Now you don’t need to panic if you can’t remember how to lay out the entasis on that column.

Doric capitol and entablature

2 thoughts on “The Classical Orders Are At Your Fingertips

    • Vignola’s drawings are really nice, as are Chamber’s. The problem with the early proportional systems is that they can be very confusing. In Asher Benjamin’s books he takes the system to another level of complexity by following the 18th Century method of breaking a unit into 60 parts.
      When working with dividers instead of ruled measurement, as was the normal method of work, this makes perfect sense. For today’s designer the modern system, as used by Robert Chitham in his excellent 1984 book, The Classical Orders of Architecture, is better for use with our mode of work.

      “Classicism is not an architectural style but an architectural discipline based on criteria such as symmetry and axiality, and as such is timeless.”
      Robert Chitham


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