Illustrated Architecture Dictionary


Parthenon, Athens, Greece Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society Museum

Doric order: The column and entablature developed by the Dorian Greeks

The Orders of classical architecture were formalized by the Greeks and applied to the design and proportion of buildings used the post-and-lintel, or column and entablature construction

The Doric Order emerged in the sixth century BC, and was followed by the Ionic Order in the east Greek territories of Anatolia. ...

The Doric Order of architecture was little used by the Romans in Italy. The Tuscan order was a simplified version with base, unfluted shaft and simply molded capital.

- British Museum Pattern Books: Roman Designs, by Eva Wilson, 1999

The Doric Order was the oldest (sixth century BC ) and plainest of the three orders of classical Greek architecture. The Doric order was developed in the lands occupied by the Dorians, one of the two principal divisions of the Greek race. It became the preferred style of the Greek mainland and the western colonies (southern Italy and Sicily).

The other classical Greek orders are Ionic and Corinthian.

In the Roman Doric order, the columns are more slender, usually have bases, and the fluting is sometimes altered or omitted.

Doric entablature: A plain architrave, a frieze of alternating triglyphs and metopes, and a plain crowning cornice.
The triglyph and guttae beneath the triglyph are stylized memories of the beams and retaining pegs of the wooden constructions that preceded stone Doric temples.  In stone they are purely ornamental.

The soffit (underside) of the cornice bore projecting square blocks known as mutules

Doric column: Heavy, fluted column with plain saucer-shaped capital and no base

Doric columns are generally carved with vertical, parallel channels known as flutes, which should, properly speaking, number twenty.

Entasis: From early times the Greeks incorporated intentional distortions, including entasis, a slight curving of the outline of the shaft of the column so that it was wider in the middle. This corrected an optical illusion that perfectly straight sides appeared concave.

Diocletian Doric:  In some Roman and Renaissance examples, the neck of the capital may be decorated with foliage like rosettes or perhaps egg-and-dart. Example: Williams-Butler House

Doric capital: The upper section of the column consists of a cushionlike convex molding known as an "echinus," and a square slab above termed an "abacus." In some Roman examples, a "neck" is found under the echinus. Sometimes, there is carving on either or both the echinus and neck.
See also: Greek Revival Style ... Vitruvius Pollio, "The Ten Books on Architecture"

See also: Vitruvius Pollio on Doric, Ionic and Corinthian Orders  (The Greeks were first to declare that architecture was based on the proportions and form of the human body.)

Palladio's Drawings of the Five Classical Orders

Click on drawing for larger size

Palladio's Drawing of the Doric Frieze

Palazzo Chiericati, Andrea Palladio, architect

Examples from Buffalo architecture

Examples from Europe:

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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