Limestone Learning Center

The History of Marble Columns

Looking Back On Marble Columns

Columns are integral architectural elements that help to support extra weight and ceiling span without using additional solid walls. They can increase the amount of space within a structure, or even just be an aesthetic addition to a building. Marble columns can help entrances look lighter and function as alternative aesthetics to exteriors on buildings as well. Columns can also be incorporated along walls of  an exterior, or even stand free from walls and ceilings, almost acting like a sculpture or a separate piece of art. Columns have a long history in architecture and are being used in a number of unique ways today as well.

Early Column Use

The first uses of columns were to support a roof in small buildings during the Bronze Age in 3000-1000 BCE. The columns were situated in the center of the room and used to keep the ceiling above the buildings. They were sometimes painted or carved, and some were made of wood, but they often had stone bases. Those arranged in palace buildings were made from marble.

Popularity Of Stone Columns Spreads

Archaic Greek stone replaced wood as the primary building material and then columns followed suit. Some columns were still wood with stone bases while others were marble stones carved into one piece. The Romans standardized the columns and their marble production in the 1st century BCW and this celebrated type of column is a part of the Pantheon in Rome.

Column Evolution

Columns evolved in the ancient world in a number of different orders. Some had strong bases and were richly decorated with sculpted faces, flowers, leaves, and other decorations. Others were plainer and had vertical flutes instead. And there were also some with twisting shafts. Some of these columns had to be changed and tested to avoid problematic optics in large buildings. Straight lines were better from a distance and columns had to sometimes be tilted inward to appear straight from far off.

Free-Standing Columns

Columns are aesthetically-pleasing in many buildings and because of that, they became independent elements for artistic reasons as early as the 5th century BCE. They were designed to support originally, but they were works of art on their own and became independent structures that weren’t attached to anything at all.

Using Marble Columns Today

There are so many uses of marble columns in both history and present day architecture. Design has evolved so much, that today that homeowners can really do whatever they want with marble columns in their own home. If you’d like to have a marble column surrounding your front doors on the porch, you can do that and allow it to support the overhang. If you want to have columns sitting in the entryway, they do not have to be attached to anything  to be a good decorative element. Marble columns, simply because of the beauty of the material, can have straight lines and a streamlined look, or they can be carved and ornate in design. It all depends on what your home needs, what your preferences are, and what you want from the end result. Contact the professionals at Impression to figure out the best options for your needs.

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