Three Architectural Orders October 03, 2014 00:00

Ancient Greece was a culture associated with high-concept thinking. Be it through storytelling such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, philosophy such as the teachings of Plato or through sculpture and other forms of art. Chances are though when you think of Greece you think of its architecture. From very early on in their history the Greek people set the bar when it came to architectural innovation developing new and previously unimagined tools and techniques for creating larger and more beautiful structures. The Ancient Greeks understood that a people must be reflected in their architecture and thus allowed their architects to do things with structure and design that were once thought undoable. Such a diverse and amazing palate of architectural innovation was later divided into sub categories focusing on the construction of the world famous Greek columns. Most people assume all Greek columns were the same, when in fact there was a rhyme and reason to have how each was created and they all fell into certain categories, these were called the three orders and they are still present in architecture today, not only in Greece but all around the world.

  1. Doric Order

    Based around standing columns flat on the pavement, and carving them with concave grooves, this style was known for the alternating vertical tablets surrounding their columns. These were both stylistic and practical, allowing the run-off of rain water. The Doric Order is focused around the rules of harmony.

  2. Ionic Order

    This order tends to be defined by the spirals or volutes based at the top of columns, designed to emulate clouds or perhaps crashing waves, this spirals were present in a great deal of Greek art. It required few tools and it is possible the baskets and satchels could have been hung from the notches in the marble.

  3. Corinthian Order

    The last of the three orders to be developed, the Corinthian style is centered upon the idea of elaborate decorations adorning the tops of columns, sweeping leaves and scrolls constructed from the marble to create a wondrous picture for people to observe as they walked below and marveled at the construction.