What is an Architectural Column?
A modern architectural column is one that is manufactured using historical proportions originally created by the Greeks and later expanded by the Romans. Architectural experts have visited ancient architecture with pencil, paper, and tape measure and have written
classical guidelines based on the rules developed millennia ago. Royal Corinthian uses these guidelines in order to emulate ancient architecture, using composite materials that will last for generations.
Entasis of Architectural Column
Architectural columns begin at one diameter or width at the bottom and end up smaller towards the top. When observing from bottom to top, an architectural column will remain the same diameter/width for 1/3rd of the total height of the shaft and the remaining 2/3rds will have a convex taper or entasis. The entasis of the column was introduced in order to correct the visual illusion of the concavity of a column with a straight shaft.
Structural vs Load-bearing Columns
Architectural columns, though used frequently for aesthetic purposes, are used in architecture as structural members. They are meant, through compression, to transmit the weight of something above to the foundation of the structure below. Most of Royal Corinthian columns are “structural”, although we prefer to use the more accurate term of load-bearing. Structural implies uplift protection and modern architectural columns provide that but in combination with lally columns or other reinforcing members. Some of our columns can bear upwards of 50,000 lbs.
The Royal Corinthian Difference
When it comes to architectural columns, many manufacturers will cut corners. Instead of dealing with the complexities of an entasis taper, they will do a straight taper. Ideally, for every height column of the same diameter, a manufacturer would have a separate mold to insure a 1/3rd, 2/3rd taper but many manufacturers will make one very long mold and make all heights from it, resulting in many columns that are all taper and appear stocky. Instead of 24 equally spaced flutes that are a perfect half circle, many manufacturers will make fluted columns with shallow flutes as they are easier to demold. Some manufacturers rout shallow flutes into the column, resulting in a very unclean appearance in addition to foregoing the richness of a deep flute. The industry even went so far as to import polyurethane and synthetic injection molded caps and bases in order to save on costs.
At Royal Corinthian, we do our best to provide you with columns that will make you proud. Our flutes are deeper than the industry and we provide capitals and bases made of the same material as the shaft. While we don’t cut corners, we still guarantee the highest quality, lowest prices, best warranty, and fastest lead-times in the industry.
Read more about our columns, or browse by style: round columns and square columns. We have column CAD drawings for all our standard products and we never say no to custom. We look forward to working with you on your current and future projects.