Doric Order Architectural Elements – Important Classic Orders

Doric order and its architectural elements are one of the classical period elements that we learn in architectural history lessons and we encounter in historical buildings that we see after learning.Doric order and its architectural elements are one of the classical period elements that we learn in architectural history lessons and we encounter in historical buildings that we see after learning.

Ancient Greek architects were influenced by the Egyptian column orders and wanted to use them in architecture. The three most important architectural orders that emerged as a result of this search for order in classical architecture:

  1. Doric Order
  2. Ionic Order
  3. Corinthian Order

In this article, I would like to talk about the Doric Order, which Vitruvius frequently mentions in The Ten Books on Architecture.

Doric order is the first and perhaps the simplest one among the 3 orders that I mention. As it has a very rough and solid stance, Vitruvius has connected the columns of this order with masculinity.

Parthenon Temple is one of the most important example structures for Doric architectural elements.
Parthenon Temple

The Architectural Elements of Doric Order

Let’s get to know all the architectural elements of Doric Order which is one of the most important and essential order of classical architecture.

Doric Column

The most distinctive differences of the orders in classical architecture are their columns. Doric column is shorter and chunky than other columns. The bodies of the columns in the Doric Order expand towards the center and are generally grooved. Column headers are without ornament. In addition, there is no tablement in the column order; the pillars touch the floor as they are.

There are problems in the corners of the Doric order, just like the ionic order. While triglyphs and metopes are placed in a certain order, this order is distorted at the corners, so it break the spell of architecture.

Doric orders architectural elements drawing

Abacus

It is the name given to the plate where the column meets the architrave above the doric column. It has a flat and square cross section. Today, it is similar to the column heads used to prevent the punching effect in reinforced concrete buildings.

Echinus

It is the section below the abacus that gradually narrows. It is the transition element between the abacus and the main body of the column.

Stylobate

A general feature of classical architectural orders was that columns were often placed on stair steps. The name given to these steps is stylobate. The stylobate count is often seen as 3 or 5.

Triglyph and Metope

To carry the temple roofs, the architects had developed a kind of column beam system. Just like in today’s gable roofs, there were elements such as purline and ridge in these early age temples. Various reliefs and ornaments were made on them so that the longitudinal beams that form the roof seem beautiful and effective on the pediment. Here, the decorated part of these beams visible from the outside is called triglyph. The empty part between two triglyphs is called a metope.

In the classical order, the middle axle of the triglyphs was coincided with the middle axis of the columns in order for the carrier systems to work properly and the visual effect was not disturbed. However, this created a major visual problem. What do you think could be the reason and what solution was found for it?

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