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  • Charles

Language of the Classical Architect: Understanding Orders - Doric Order

Every classical architect is familiar with the Doric Order.  It was first developed by the Greeks, and was their main architectural order.  Greek and Roman Doric orders vary significantly in proportion and detail. To the Greeks, a Doric temple was usually just a temple. To the Romans, the Doric was a very specific order with refined detailing that referenced the Greek Doric, but added a base, and was more consistently proportioned from instance to instance. Greek Doric columns feature fluted shafts, topped by relatively plain capitals and supporting an entablature detailed with triglyphs and mutules. These are elements carved in stone, which commemorate a method of wood construction we would recognize from our houses: ceiling joists. Greek temples were once built of wood, and when the medium shifted to stone, they retained some of the appearance of wood construction in the stone detailing. Roman Doric columns feature a proportion of diameter to height of 1:8, making them appear slightly more slender than the Tuscan, but still robust. The doric order is the strongest architectural link between Greek and Roman cultures, and was used specifically by the Romans to evoke the culture of their Greek forebears.



Doric Order in the Parthenon in Athens
The Doric Order at the Parthenon in Greece

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