The Elements of Classical Architecture: The Composite Order

Saturday, February 9, 2019

9:00 AM – 2:30 PM

With Mason Roberts at The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art

Acting as a base to the wider canon of classical architecture, the five classical orders have been used since antiquity as a means of proportioning buildings in a harmonious way while simultaneously giving logic and meaning. Elevated as the highest of the classical orders, the composite order is unique in its distinctly Roman origin and very specific uses in monumental buildings throughout ancient Rome as well as the Renaissance and Baroque eras.

The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth study that unpacks the composition of this order, including its history and proportioning. A brief overview of the history and origins of classical architecture will lead into the development of this order in ancient Rome and the Renaissance. The study of the proportioning of this order will include a hand drawing tutorial in which participants will compose the capital and entablature according to the treatise of Andrea Palladio. Furthermore, participants will learn the geometry of Bernini’s iconic Solomonic Column, with its undulating Baroque shaft. Finally, a critical study will show the application of the composite order in various building types, including some of the rare modern-day examples. The course will conclude with a short walk to McKim, Mead & White’s Century Club on 43rd Street to look at a local example of an application of the composite order.

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In order know where we’re going, we need to know where we come from!