Definitions

entasis

entasis

[en-tuh-sis]

Many people do not stop to think about why buildings are built the way they are how they came to be . It is also not commonly known the proper names of certain styling we see every day and take for granted. For instance, when thinking of the Egyptian Pyramids, it is probably not realized that they are in fact done in a style of architecture called entasis. Columns and piers built centuries ago were only the beginnings of structures created in this manner and all columns done today must have an architectural entasis. What exactly is meant when a column is said to have entasis and why is it so popular? Exploring this topic is a great way to learn about history that has come full circle today.

Entasis began with the Greeks and Romans. It was used as a way to give an architectural column a uniform look and pleasing to they eye. However, looks are often deceiving and this is certainly true in the case of entasis. This form of architecture is a standard for buildings with columns and while it gives the appearance of a straight column it is only an optical illusion. Entasis is actually a tapering from a larger diameter at the base to a slightly smaller diameter towards the top of the shaft. When a column has these features it is aesthetically pleasing to the eye as well as known as a true architectural column in building standards.

While there are many types of buildings, entasis has stood the test of time and is still used today. The style not only gives uniformity and conformity to structures, it also provides the illusion of a complete straight line that is really not there. From the common home to the Capital Building it is utilized to provide support while remaining pleasing to the eye.

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