This section is from the book "Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry, And Building", by James C. et al. Also available from Amazon: Cyclopedia Of Architecture, Carpentry And Building.
Introduction. This section on the Roman Orders is largely an adaptation and simplification of a work published in 1870, entitled "An Analysis of the Five Orders" by F. Laureys, architect, and professor at the Royal Academy and Industrial School of Brussels. Professor Laureys has taken the standard orders as shown in the plates from the better known work by Vignola, and has further elaborated their system of construction. He has explained in detail many parts of the plates and orders of Vignola, which that authority has left vague or indeterminate, and has generally succeeded in attaining a more distinctive type-form in the instances where he has chosen to deviate from the original. The three order plates from Vignola may be considered as "key-plates" showing the proper relation of the more detailed drawings adapted from the elaborate system of Professor Laureys, and the proper assemblage of the different parts of the order in such a manner as to give a comprehensive idea of the whole.
The included plates from Palladio furnish alternative versions of each of the three orders and are valuable as showing in many instances the authority for the changes which Professor Laureys has chosen to make from Vignola. Vignola and Palladio were practically contemporaneous Italian architects living in the sixteenth century, the first-possibly better described as a thinker and analytic theorist-residing in Rome; while Palladio worked in the north of Italy and, either through better opportunity or a differing temperament, has amply proved by his practices the value of his works.
It must be understood that these so-called Roman orders are not the orders used by the Classic Roman builders in any instance, but are versions made in this sixteenth century from the then-existing buildings and remains of Roman work, and each of these orders was intended to become a "type-form," or composite of the best features of the varying ancient examples. They are, therefore. more distinctively products of the Renaissance and might more appropriately be termed the Renaissance Classic orders, but in contradistinction to the still earlier and radically different creations of artistic Greek workmen, these examples are known as the Roman orders. Indeed, however much they may differ in detail from the Roman originals, they are carried out in as close an approximation to the spirit of Roman work as would be possible at any later date, but differ radically from the spirit and intent of the preceding Greek work, upon which the Romans had in turn founded and developed their application and use of the orders.
Some buildings are the logical outcome of the needs they are designed to serve, or of the nature of the materials used in them; others have been evolved by the artistic genius of different peoples, and have gradually been perfected in the advance and progress of civilization and art. Such buildings possess an aesthetic or artistic character, and are the natural expression of particular peoples at a given stage of their civilization.
The Greeks and the Romans, the most cultivated nations of ancient times, brought their architectural forms to a very high degree of perfection. The destruction of ancient civilization by the Fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century A. D. and the spread of Christianity, caused the complete disappearance of Greek and Roman architecture during several centuries. This period is called the Middle Ages and lasted until the loth century, but during this time a new civilization was developing and producing an architecture, which in certain countries (notably in France) attained a very high degree of perfection.
In the loth century, however, the study of ancient literature brought about an intellectual reaction which led both science and art into sympathy with Greco-Roman antiquity. Architecture then discarded the artistic forms of the Middle Ages and adopted aew forms derived from the remains of ancient Rome. This period was called the Renaissance, and from it we may date the academic study of architecture, based on the architecture of Greece and of Rome To the architectural style at this time adopted as a standard for study in the classroom, has been given the designation "Classical," and as the principles of classical architecture are the easiest to formulate and retain, it is most helpful to begin with the study of these. An accurate knowledge of classical architecture is essential to the study of all other styles.
1. Architecture is the art of designing and constructing buildings.
2. The designing of buildings consists in a graphic (or plastic) representation of their intended shapes and sizes.
3. An architect uses mechanical drawing to express his ideas and to record exactly the size and shape of the object represented.
5. In general, full straight lines indicate visible edges, and broken or dotted lines indicate relations of different parts, such as the axis or center-line of a street or building or the distance covered by a figured measurement.
6. Horizontal lines are drawn along a T-square whose head rests against the left side of a drawing board. Vertical and sloping lines are drawn against a triangle resting against the T-square.
7. Two horizontal lines intersecting two vertical lines, all of equal length, form a square. If its opposite corners are connected by straight lines, called diagonals, the intersection of these diagonals gives the center of the square. A horizontal and a vertical line may be drawn through this center, and then, by setting the point of the compass at the center and opening the compass along either of these lines to the sides of the square, a circle may be drawn which will be exactly inscribed within the square. The square itself will be divided into four small squares, each of which contains a quadrant or quarter circle. (C, plan, Fig. 2.)
8. The circle is divided into 360 parts, which are used for measuring angles or the difference in direction between any two lines that meet in the center of the circle. For convenience, an instrument called a protractor is sometimes used, which consists of a half-circle divided into 180 parts called degrees (°). A vertical line from the center of the circle will cut the curve or circumference at a point 90° above the horizontal, and the diagonals of the square in which the circle is inscribed will divide each angle of 90° into two angles of 45° each.
9. As it is impracticable to draw many objects at their full size, an arbitrary scale is used to enable the drawing to be made at 1/2, 1/4, 1/16, 1/32, or some other fraction of its true size. Drawings at the scale of 1/4 inch to the foot reproduce each dimension of an object at 1/48 of its true size. The system of drawing things "to scale" enables us to make accurate drawings at any convenient size.
10. To make pictures of objects in such a way as to express accurately the size and shape of every part, three drawings are usually necessary-a plan, a section, and an elevation-the plan to show widths and lengths, the section to show widths and heights, the elevation to show lengths and heights.
11. A drawing looks better when its perpendicular center is half-way across the paper and its bulk placed slightly above the horizontal center of the sheet. Begin then by finding a point in the paper half-way between the sides, and through this center draw a vertical line- the vertical axis of the drawing. Layout the plan, the elevation, or the sum of the two together with the space between them, so that half the finished work shall be on each side of the vertical axis.
12. In mechanical drawing, it is best to begin by indicating the axes or center lines of objects in plan, section and elevation. On either side of these axes lay out one-half of the width or depth of the objects represented.
14. A lintel is a piece of stone, timber, or metal laid flat upon two pillars so as to form an opening or bay. (Fig. 2, E.)
16. The first exercise, Fig. 2, shows two pillars C and D, carrying a lintel E, above which is a string course F. The plan shows the width and the depth of the pillars C and D. It shows that pillar D is square and that pillar C is eight sided (octagonal.)
It also shows that these two pillars are set along a straight line or axis (A-B) having the same direction as two of their sides. The section shows the vertical position, the depth and the height of the pillars, the width and the height of the lintel E, which rests on the pillars so as to line with their face; and last of all the height and the width of the string course F, with its projection beyond the lintel E. The elevation shows the general arrangement of pillars and lintel as seen from an arbitrary viewpoint directly in front. It shows that the two pillars are upright or plumb, indicates the shape of the space between, and gives the length of the lintel and of the string course.
17. All the parts of this drawing have definite relations of size which are called proportions. Each pillar is one unit and a-half wide, one unit and a-half deep and five units and a-half high. The space between the pillars is two and three-quarter units wide and five and one-half high; its width is, therefore, one-half its height.
18. When a pillar is cylindrical or rounded, it is called a column and is divided into parts, the major part being termed the shaft. (Fig. 3). The shaft is the portion extending between the base and the capital, or between the capital and the support upon which the column rests. The shaft generally rests upon a projecting block or base included as part of the column, and is crowned with another projection called a capital.