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Thomas Thiis Evensen

Thomas Thiis Evensen

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Published by: Alex Calin on Jun 26, 2012
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Thomas Thiis-Evensen Archetypes in Architecture


tors, By means of different colour treatment Q thick DoriC column in its white marble splendour appears lorger but at the some time lighter and thereby 'weaker' than the same column ina dark colour. The latter in turn seems reduced in size but ot the same time gives on lrnpresslcn of greater compactness ond support cap-:Jtity. The reverse is true 010 slim column. The gfacelu'liron skeletons of the 1800's lor 'example, would appear thinner if pointed block rother than white. The latter treatment would enlarge the skeleton and make it visuollv thicker. Iexture lao oHects fhecalumn's expression of support. Rustication and rough cutting will as 0 rule give the shaft greater 'weight'. In the squat stone pillorsot Stonehenge it is precisely the coarseness of their surfoces that is of essential importance in the whole megalithic otrrrosphere. At the other extreme osrnoolh surface will also seem to strengthen the form ..Now, however, 'Iheimpression of strength is quite unlike the above, in thct it is decided bvo ,flint-like hardness. H .P. Berlage has interprered iust this eHect in designing the columns In the main hall 01 the Amsterdam Stock Exchange (1902). The primary columns supporting the qreotes! weight ore highly polished and'hard'. The secondary columns, on the ather hand, have a rough surface compared 10 the others, giving them moratexture and






of Corinthian


Treatment in relief may else chonge the column's oppeoronce of stren9th. The mostcomrnon surface treorrnent oflhis ki'nd is fluting. Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns all hove the.se vertically grooved shafts. Their,eiffed is twofold. Qn the one hand,lhey moyoutHne verticality ,if'! itself :ondthe'reby occenlocle the upward thrust af.the. shoft lorrn. On the other hond,lhey can be a foetor in empho~iiing exoctlv rhe opposite, whichi!> Ihe shah's ownessentiol sebsrcnce aQdweighi . The dominating chorapte~is:ti!;depends upon the thickness OJ slimness of the column end whe,tllef the lIutiflgisdeepor shallow. On the elegant Cor'lnlhian column Iheiflules ore nortow and d~e,p. seporet,ed by Ilet edgeslFi9. 259). These grQo~s,o.ppeorosdeep c-\Jlsirlitne bacl'Y'(!If, Ih-esl:'!cft ilselfwhile the edges o~lli!ll!!l the pctIJPI s_urfp,Ge'f<1,9' 1 zlilO" T;hiseHlfc'. of: cOI'IC;:~J'Itf(!ted v~rtical ilil'lCs O.cce"'JIJPh~j$ the enUre \:IpJigntneS'Sbf the £a.Utl" hllllbe.hj~ker Doikoolumn Ihe:Ul.llhrgtsqvrte diHe.reht. He'te the grooves ere ibr§C1!d ,e,rnc shallow, with =$hQfp:edges inee'lw~en. It is as if this fluting clQes ililoe "~erJ'eliro:le! 'Ihebodv Qf ,fhe ,shah it,elf but remains an exterior de~afo'lien ontRe IfO'nm~sm(!lcS5.(.f~9 2;601 a'). This serves merely 10 occentu.. ,(ll'Ie its ~I~;$tk !.thl:il!o~tel'jwhkh !:i-e<;onie5 quite dear when campa red to :simitClJ,gQ!l;ImJilS wilhourllutJ:n,g sl!IGhos those of the temple 01 Segesta (400 Tl~,esme0lhooJI:IID:AS liier.eseem 5HH and lifeless in ~Qmporisan with f,iy.teO'{)liIe:s, WAasesGfdYcSo:(!loewed gro0vesemphosize all the inner llexibrlitv !"J the 'sheft




.... 0
4 ..








of Doric


, ,


. ,




261.Column suface treatment with examples of combinations of smooth and fluted surfaces

Confirmation of Ihe effect thai arises with and without Outing is to be found in columns where the shaft is both fluted and smooth. Examples of this combination ore aiready to be found in Antiquity, particularly in the slim Corirvhion column, II is done by filling in the grooves in the lower third of the column shoft so tho' the suricce becomes cpproxirnctelv even, A possible reason could be thot the flute edgings were particularly exposed to wear cnd teor on the lower port of the column. This pattern, however, hos been maintained even itinere columns are raised on high pedestals, Is the reuson rhen of c visual nalure? As we have shown above, the lower port has cpproxirnoteiv the scme diameter top and bottom. II isonlv when the fluting begins that the entasis is intensified., The following impression is dearly conveyed by the difierent surfaces: the lower port becomes even heavier, the upper section even steeper. The resulting contrest emphasizes the dvncmics in the column's own expression of support, which is the struggle berv/een sinking end rising (Fig, 261},

EXPRESSION OF SUPPORT AND THE COlUlv\N'S HEAD AND FOOl CAPITAL AND BASE In the trcnsitio« a: column to ground and rool, the form qrven to these connecting elements is decisive for the effect of the column's dynamics on its surroundings. In clcss.col architecture this is a question.of how copital and bose are designed. Vitruvius staled three ways 01 forming these members; the Dcric the Ionic; and the CaritltruCllaecch of which should correspond Io a definite retia of proportions in the column sho!t (Fig. 262}. These three orders formed the basis of on extensive orchitectural school of thought. The main content in his tecchinqs was based on the wish to differentiate between various weigh' end strength relctionships in the column's visuol support ccoocirv. This differentiation has ploved an importc,nt role in traditional classical crchitecture. both in the interpretation of specifie bLJilding tasks and in the formulation their various ports one details !figs, 263. 264,






262. Doric. Ionic end Corinlhion orders {diogrom oher Uhdc. Die AfCh;t(J~tlJrlormen das KJoS5;schen Aflerlumsl.

the major column

263. Doric. Ionic ond Cor;t11hian crdcn OSol1iculClling '!lemenl~: i~ Cotinlnion, Ihe inner column\ ale Ionic, wnde Ihe curer columns are Doric (!emple ,n 9as~ci. from oef'Je ~IC••

Greet rempJes and Shrines).

264. The column mool~ Ihe ground (corner columns Irom Ramo, photo by I. K. Borstod].


The r:olumn meets the ground (bose Erom ternpie in Bosso;, 1'0m Charbonneau~, Des Klmsisch~



..\_ .


, .

. rr

~~l .. / ,


: :



266.Doric capltal (cla~gical type)





from Robertson, Greek ~nd Roman
Jl..rchi tecture)

As 0 result, Ihe Doric has been used through Ihe ages in strong and ruSI;. cered buildings' ... such as city gates, fortresses, citadels, treasuries, arsenals, prisons, ports and similar military instollations',.:a The form given 10 br.se and ccpitol was intended as a port of this visual expression weighl. The Doric capitol comprises two parts. Immediately beneath the orchttrav"! is o squcm sinh. the abacus. and beneath illhe hend of Ihec~lumn ilself, the ccbinvs; whic.h is in the form of Q convex circular cushion. lhe Doric column has no base in the usual meaning of the term',The fluted shaft is led strOignt down to Ihe ground wilh no ernphosis 0') the transition. The form at both places reflects the balanced tension between the column's upward thruSIand dowoword stress. The lack of a base' accentuates the power 01 both tendencies simultaneously. Viewed from the b.ottom up it is as if Ihe column sprrngs directly from Ihe horlzcntcl level, strong ond uncompromising. Fluting emphasizes the dynamics of, this growrh. Read in reverse, the impression is exactly the opposite: the column isfotceddirectty into Ihe ground by the heavy pressure from. above. This balance between rising and sinking also occurs in the fully developed Doric copilol. In Ihe column capitols of 'Poseidon's' temple at Paestum [c. 450 B'.C.l. for example. the two tendencies overlcp inlhe echinus itself (fig. 266). The dslng tendency is ernooosized by continuing the shaft HUling port of Ihe' way inf0 the neck of the capitel cod terminatingi! bvc row of filfels (6nulr) immedioteiy beneorh Ihe cushion. The sinking impression is accentuated by terminating the ccoi tole short distance down the shoI, itself with a simil'or row' of fillels. In this woy the two teedeociesosedcpcnd are united. The curvoture betweenn.eck and cusni().nis else decisive fOf thi:s, aubl~ d tension in the copilot. In the clesslcol ctQpltal the cUr'Ve is,. even ol'ld uptight in coorrcst to the archaic cepltcl, where it is. bcokenby a d~ep~greoverm· mediately bene-ofh the cushion (Figs. 25.5, 256). Here Ihe column profile narrows shorplytowords Ihe t.C;)p .hile the,cushianbc!ges outwotds &il.et it w like 0 slightly .fIcttened inner tube. The cushiQn's form emphosizes the"effect .01QQWnwor9 presswe. The shaff~ on the other bond, ac:.c:ents j:J~rd the~ thrust in thotthe diminution of the upper hgU 'sharpens' and ec.cele'l'Q.tes the verticality. Altog:ether, the orchelc column is 0 greote,. v.i~uQI~otion of Q dramatic co/Jision of opposing forces fother thon c fvsiofl of them. QS, we have seen inlhe,fuUy developed dossic(ji.golurnn,.


I: . COLUMN The Ionic column tokes.ttsJ:)loc;emiQway between tne heavyOQri(: and the slim Corin'tnion. It p.ersonifi~ ,the feminine qUCllilies .says Vitfllvius, It is, however, 'the merore women who, is repres,ented in Ihe calm elegance


271. Ionic capital (classic type)



the Ionic. Whereas the Corinthion column depicted youthful feminine spontaneity. the Ionic was the style of the more serene goddesses. The construction of temples of the Ionic order to Juno. Dione, Father Bacchus ond other gods of that kind, will be in keeping with the middle position which they hold. for the building of such will be on appropriate combinotion olthe severity of the Doric and the delicacy of the Corinthian.49 In Ihe Doric order we sow how entasis was clearly visible as on interpretation of a powerful balance between thrust and stress. This struggle between survival and resistance is less apparent in the Ionic column. The impression here is of something accomplished ond sure. Firstof all, the Ionic column is slimmer than the Doric and the diminution not as great.!O Combined with slimness we find a shaft rising unconcernedly upwards. In the second place, both Ionic and Corinthian columns have 0 bose that divides shaft and ground and thereby blocks any further continuotion. This 'buffer' obsorbs the jolt of the shaft meeting the ground but at the some time, like a springy counter-power, initiates the upward thrust. The effect, however. depends upon whether the bose appears to belong to Ihe column or the ground. If the bose isformed as port of the ground. it is as if the ground itself rises to push the column upwards, giving on overall rising effect. The reverse is true if the column pushes downwards - a sinking effect occurs (Fig. 267,

267. a-b. The base as a part of (a) ground, and (b) the column





This upward or downward spring-like adian is mode clear by the form of the details. In considering the clossicallonic. we see that the bose is divided into two moin ports. At the bottom isa square slob (plinth) which neutrallzes the transition between level ground and the round bose and column above. The round port consists of two convex mouldings (tori) above and below a concove groove (Fig. 268). The bulging cushion-like mouldings illustrate the effect of downward stress. The lower ring, therefore. which receives the greoter pressure, protrudes most. On the other hand, the concave. groove depicts the way in which the form thrusts itself upwards. This means that the lower and deeper the horizontal glOove is, the heavier seems the pressure from above. lnver:sely, the higher. and more upright the groove, the stronger seems the 'thrust-off' towards the top (Fig. 269). . The loniccapifol conveys 0 'soft complioncy'.ln contrast to the Doric order's conflict-filled struggle against the weignt'obO\le, the Ionic capitol oppeors.to yield to this pr:essu~ and seHlesobediently but resiliently against the roof.bearing orchilrove. Whereas the Doric copitol draws attention to an overlopping of contrasting powers; the lQAic capitol appears ot fjrst glonc;e to be spIll by the pressure from ob(W.ein the way its two spiral volutes curl outword$ in opposite dir~c;tions~beneoth the weight of the entab ..


b:d J
I (



269. Ionic and narrow

base with cavettas




loture. In older prcto-lonic capitollorms il is even more cpporent Ihot Ihe volutes are a result 01 such a splitting in the upper port of the rising column sheft itself 'IFig. 270). ln the clcss.col ccpitol the lorrn is seen as a resilient cushion in which the volutes form its parallel sides. The olher Iwo sides, which face the spectctor, show a convex downward curl illustrating clearly and directly Ihe strength of the pressure from above. a pressure identic:allo Ihat which causes rbe capitol 10 coil IFig. 271) .. The entire capitol thus reflects both the reception and resiliency in the column's contact with the architrave and roof, An interesling vorioticn of the Ionic volute pattern, confirming the above description, is Borromini's formulation of the columns in the interior of Son Ceria aile Oocrtrc Fontcne 11641). In controst to the other inlerior columns, whose volutes are of the usual reclining type, the eight colornns carrying the do me no v e copitois with active upright volutes (Fig, 272). The reclining volutes terminate the verticality in the column sha!:, while the upright volutes continue it further up and into the roof system's ribs end arches.

272. Capitals from F. Borromini's St. Carlo aIle Quatro Fontane ( Above with vertical scrolls and bellow with horizontal scrolls)

hos similar fluting end.bose, The capitol, however, is different and in its form a dlfedresponseto the verticclity in the shaft itself. Whereas both Doric and Ionic capaals illustrate the oltematioo of thlUst end stress in the column's support capacity, the Corinthian capitol appears to stcte unequivocally upward thrust alone. This is already appcrent in the capitol's ornamentation. The entire capitol is covered with rows of naturalistic cccnthvs leaves giving the form an organic:and non-supporting appe.aronce. The verticality in the shalt is interpreted as a free gto~tJth, unhampered by architrave and roof, 'bursting forth' playfully agoinst the rool moulding. While both Doric and Ionic copitcls are compressed or divided by the load above. the Corinthicn thrusts on upwc.rds cs though having nothil1g 10 support (Fig. 273). I his unlettered and dynamic impression is caused not only by the overlapping acanthus foliage but also by the concave inword swing of the abacus and the diagoncl outward swing of the corner volutes (Fig. 274). The lead the enlire capitol our into space in contrast to both the Ionic and Doric copitols where the form is Slrictly imprisoned with. in the architrave above. In the concove grooves between the volutes, however, there are indicolions of oootber diametrically opposed motion, which seems to be caused by some external pressure. It is as ilthe form itseJr pulls bock to make way for a further growth of the underlying foliage, which may climb over the coccus and even right up into the entablature itsell (Figs. 275, 276).

EXPR€5SI0N OF SUPPORT: THE CORINTHIAN COLUMN The Corinthian column is uSl:JoHy slimmer than the Ionic ,",III otherwise

volutes dvnornlcollv



COlinlnir:fI cao.lol in mOlion b', G, N'!umr:nn,



DO"'<Js. 610, l'IeOI,

-4' 277. Corinthian Iriumphol column!. [recon~fruc:tion 01 Farum Romof1um. from Dol Moso. Rome o! Ihe Caesolli. 276. Corinthion




Church in leipzig. 110m Kloplp.l. Von

Poliadio bis ScnmteJ).

27 J
Iyp-::) ,







01 SlonchenCJ~



(~n.L V.'otld "'cllt'"(,,o~)

279. Appmenl column height 'Jnd 'he ellec' 01 'he IlolnlJlh of Ih.: cr;k,nn(;<1-: (i''lllh,,,,onl

27 S COII"rh,on CC:l"ol (~ococo "0"0"0" Irom the 3i~hoD'~ 'e\l· dence .,.. \/llurzourg b-, l. -Ion HII. dco.cndr, !rom fo~~mon. Dooscr,




This non·supportinS and vertlcoleflect in the Corinthlcn is well exploited throughout ~he hrstorv of architecture. The Corinthian was considered to be the most 'delightful' of the three orders cnd was used in particularly impor. lont and prominent buildings. 'It is reserved for particularly elegant buildings meant to be impressive by their nobility of character and splendid ornamentation'.51 This usage was due not only to the capitol's rich ornamentation but doubtless also to the entire vertical emphasis in the column's form. Such a column portrays victory over all stress cnd resistance. II springs freely olaf! as if in triumph, The triumphal column of Antiquity was, therefore, preferably Corinthian and supported na more than a statue olthe exalted one. Thus the column's inherent verticality became also 0 meaningful port of the entire monument's content, which wos the victor's 'triumph and power' (Fig, 277).


In general, the heavier, shorter and more tightly formed the skeleton system is, the more closed off it appears. The distance between the squat megaliths of Stonehenge may be iust as great cs between the clustered pillars in a Gothic nave (Figs. 52, 278). The diameter may also be the some, but their height and texture are vitally different. For this reason, Stonehenge 'shuts out' while Gothic 'opens', A column may also seem toller than it really is if the row in which it stands is taller than it is wide and is compared to one which is wider. We see, therefore. how the eight frontal columns of the Parthenon stretch skvwcrds to a greater exten! than the seventeen columns on each flank IFig, 279). Various surface treatments of columns are also used to differentiate between inside and outside. In historicism it was quite usual to use coarse and closely placed granite columns in on outer wall while the scme column in the interior was of highly polished and colouriol, veined rncrble. The letter gave the form a composite and flamboyant character contrasting sharply to the more ncrurol. exterior columns serving as buHers against exterior space. The difference in the expression of support between a round column and squcre column is also intentionally used 10 convey the impression of varying motions in the wall. let us imagine a comparatively high woll supported by three round arches, in one case by square columns and in the other by round columns (fig. 280, a-c). The square columns. which in their form ore a port or the wall, passively receive the weight rhat seems evenly distributed by the rounded arches. If these columns are -cploced by found columns, the sinking effect is coun-






end Ine SU;Joor';ve expreSSion ol the woll, lei rising !'cm b~iO\'J, rb) ~n.1ng irem ebe-e, Ie!


be"'ve~~ ri\inS

el Ihe

mIddle ced sinting ~, Itle cornel'\.


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