Definitions

architrave

architrave

[ahr-ki-treyv]
architrave, in architecture, principal beam and lowest member of the classical entablature, the other main members of which are the frieze and the cornice. Its position is directly above the columns, and it extends between them, thus carrying the upper members of the order (see orders of architecture). The term also applies to molding around the sides and top of a door or window frame.

The architrave (also called epistyle or door frame) is a moulded or ornamental band framing a rectangular opening. It is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. As such, it is the lowest part of the entablature consisting of architrave, frieze and cornice. The word is derived from the Greek and Latin words arche and trabs combined together to mean "main beam".

The architrave is different in the different orders. In the Tuscan, it only consists of a plain face, crowned with a fillet, and is half a module in height. In the Doric and composite, it has two faces, or fasciae; and three in the Ionic and Corinthian, in which it is 10/12 of a module high, though but half a module in the rest.


The word architrave is also used to refer to the mouldings (or other elements) framing a door, window or other rectangular opening. See also archivolt.

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