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HANDBOOK OF THE CLASSICAL TRADITION


Doric Order

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The Doric Column

The Doric column is very similar to the Tuscan model but has more refined elements. The base is D high with a square plinth 8/6 D wide by D high. The upper half of the base consists of a torus, bead, and fillet. Both radii of the torus and bead share the same centerline which also defines the edge of the fillet, or cincture, above.

The shaft is divided into 20 grooves. A channel is separated by a defined straight edge, or arris. Each arris is 18 degrees apart, the width slightly less than 1/6th D. The channels begin and end where the upper and lower cong’ of the shaft end and the column is straight.

The Doric capital is D high and is divided into three equal parts: the abacus, echinus and neck.

The abacus which is 7/6 D wide has a small cap made of a small fillet and cyma reversa.

The echinus mirrors the composition of the upper portion of the base; the larger ovolo is followed by a bead and fillet. Both the ovolo of the echinus and torus of the base are twice as big as the combined bead and fillet which follows each molding. Sometimes the ovolo of the echinus is shown with egg and dart.

The neck at 5/6 D wide is typically plain although it can be decorated with circular flowers. Below the neck is the astragal which can be drawn within a 1/16D by 1/16D square. The bead of the astragal is twice as tall as the fillet below.

The Mutulary Doric Pediment

The mutulary Doric pediment follows the same general principles outlined in the description of the Tuscan pediment. It is worth noting that the raking or inclined mutules align with the horizontal mutules below.

The Mutulary Doric Entablature

The Doric entablature is 2 D high, or one fourth the height of the column. Both cornice and frieze are D high and the architrave is D high.

The cornice is divided into four equal parts: the cymatium, corona, mutule and bedmold. To construct the cornice, draw a 45 degree diagonal from the D projection of the cornice and another smaller diagonal from the 1 D projection of the cornice. The smaller diagonal bisects a square which is formed from the upper third of the corona. The outer edge of the square establishes the line of the corona. The cyma recta of the cymatium and smaller cyma reversa below can then be drawn.

A fascia with mutules is below the corona. The mutules are 1 D on center. Viewed from the front, the mutule is D wide and has a cap consisting of a fillet and cyma reversa one third the height of the mutule. A horizontal line at the bottom of the mutule represents the drip edge which hides the 36 conical pegs, or guttae, on the underside of the mutule. Six guttae are visible in the side elevation. To draw the side elevation, start at the point where the lower edge of the mutule band meets the large diagonal and draw the six guttae within a D zone. The drip ends at the D projection of the cornice shown as a vertical dashed line. Below the mutules is the bedmold made up of an ovolo, a fillet and another fillet which breaks around the triglyph. This lower fillet is the cap of the trigyph.

The frieze has an alternating pattern of triglyphs and metopes. The triglyphs are D wide by D tall and centered over the columns. A diagonal line from the top of the capital at its centerline to the top of the frieze establishes the adjacent centerline for the next triglyph. Each metope is D square except at the corner column.

Triglyphs are named for their three glyphs, or grooves. There are two center glyphs separated by three solid portions known as femurs or shanks. Two half glyphs at each end are chamfered at a shallower angle than the center glyphs so that the triglyph meets the frieze at a 90 angle. To construct the triglyph, divide the width into 12 parts. The center glyphs and three femurs are two parts wide while the half glyphs are one part each. The triglyph projects 1/24 D from the face of the frieze.

A continuous large fillet called the taenia tops the architrave. The taenia is 1/12 D wide and projects from the architrave the same amount. Its projection can be drawn with a 45 degree angle from the top of the capital centerline to the upper line of the taenia. Below the taenia is a small fillet called the regula and six guttae. Each guttae projects from the fascia three quarters of its width. The upper band projects from the lower band one third the projection of the taenia. The ratio of the height of the upper band to lower band is 3 to 2.

As one constructs the Mutulary Doric order, one will see how many of the moldings and components are related to each other in simple proportions such as 1:1, 1:2, 1:3, 1:4, and 2:3.