The College of Charleston is to be congratulated for instituting the first classical program of architectural education in the South. Starting this fall, its new master of arts program in Community Planning, Policy and Design will instruct students in progressive traditional design that makes classicism “more culturally diverse, socially inclusive, sustainable, and beautiful.” You can […]
Spring is almost upon us, and in a few weeks we’ll emerge from sun-starved hibernation to behold the fragrant, colorful rebirth of the magnificent outdoors.
For many of us, the most immediate and intimate access to Mother Nature is our own backyard. The recent surge in popularity of custom outdoor living spaces confirms that now, more than ever, homeowners are embracing the fun and excitement of backyard living. With the goal of spending more leisure time outdoors, an easy and affordable first step to enhancing your landscape is the addition of a garden pergola.
The Illustrated Dictionary of Historic Architecture defines a pergola as, “A garden structure with an open, wood-framed roof, often latticed, and supported by regularly spaced posts or columns.” In fact, the word pergola is from the Latin pergula, meaning “projection.” Pergolas were used in ancient Rome as early as 80 BC!
A well-placed pergola has many benefits:
- Defines an outdoor space without restricting it;
- Provides a focal point in the backyard;
- Extends living space while creating a connection to nature through the pergola’s open form;
- Adds value to the property;
- With the addition of hanging baskets and/or flowering vines, creates an explosion of color and increased shade; and
- Creates a true haven for lounging and dining al fresco.
While pergola designs are virtually limitless – confined only by the size of your outdoor space and breadth of your imagination – there are some best practices to consider when creating the right pergola for your space:
- Make it large enough to accommodate lawn furniture, a barbecue, or even a hot tub, but scale the pergola so it will blend into the environment rather that dominate it.
- If you’re using it to provide shade, space the joists roughly ten inches on center, and run the rafters perpendicular to the angle of the sun’s arc. Another great way to increase shade is to interlace flowering vines through the rafters, or weave canvas between the beams and purlins.
- Head room should not exceed 9′-0″. Any taller than this, and you risk losing the appealing sense of enclosure.
- If your pergola will be adjacent to your home, be aware of window and door heights so no views from inside are obstructed.
After choosing the right design for your pergola, the next crucial decision regards building material. In the past, a painted or stained wood – like Western Red Cedar – was the most common material used in the construction of pergolas. While natural wood is still a fine choice, advancements in construction material technology have given homeowners many other affordable, low-maintenance choices.
Hands down, the best columns for pergolas are PolyStone®, a mixture of fiberglass, resin, and marble dust. They are impervious to weather and insect infestation, guaranteed for life and, once painted, have the same architectural beauty and integrity as a custom wood column.
Regarding the overhead beams, rafters, and purlins, new technology has made pultruded fiberglass an exceptional choice, due to its easy customization, light weight, durability, and affordability.
Each material has its positives and negatives. Speak with your Chadsworth consultant to ensure you are using the best possible material for your project.
Regardless of size, design, or material, adding a pergola to your backyard will certainly increase the length and enjoyment of time spent outdoors. So fire up the grill, gather friends and family, and prepare to love your new pergola!
Open floor plans create a spacious, airy feeling that appeals to many of today’s homeowners. However, without traditional borders, the living rooms, kitchens, and dining rooms often bleed into one another, resulting in an undefined sprawl. A beautiful and effective solution to this problem is the incorporation of well-placed architectural columns. Correctly used, columns delineate the rooms without disrupting the original architectural intentions.
In this home, fluted columns with Greek Erectheum capitals have been used to separate the living room (unseen), a center hall, and the dining room, providing a more contemporary living arrangement in a traditional setting.
On this Martha Stewart project, a wall was removed, and fluted columns with denticulated Roman Doric capitals and Attic (Ionic) bases were added to expand the space.
Here, two sets of Tuscan columns separate the casual living room, a stair landing, and the kitchen, providing visual access to all spaces while still creating a sense of borders.
Faux-finished wood columns and pilasters with custom plinths, Attic bases, and Empire with Necking capitals delineate the grand entrance from the formal living area.
Octagonal columns and pilasters with Attic bases and denticulated Roman Doric capitals create an open hallway between living areas.
Fluted denticulated Roman Doric columns on custom pedestals demarcate the entrance into different rooms.
Columns and pilasters with Attic bases and denticulated Roman Doric capitals provide a perfect, subtle delineation between an entrance hall and the (unseen) living room.
Greek Doric columns, with Doric flutes separate the stairway and the foyer.
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENTS | CHRISTOPHER NEWPORT UNIVERSITY – STUDENT SUCCESS CENTER
CAPITAL DESIGN: Custom Scamozzi square pilaster capitals & Custom Roman Corinthian square-shaped pilaster capitals.
CAPITAL MATERIAL: Scamozzi | Stain-Grade Wood with hand-applied stain-grade resin detailing. Roman Corinthian | Paint-Grade Plaster material.
CAPITAL SIZE: 4″ x 2-1/4″ x 6-5/8″ (Scamozzi) | 17-1/2″ x 25-3/4″ x 13-5/8″ (Roman Corinthian)
PROJECT LOCATION: Newport News, Virginia
PROJECT COMMENTS: Chadsworth Columns specializes in creating custom products. We were asked to produce custom Scamozzi pilaster capitals for the Student Success Center at Christopher Newport University. A total of (7) Scamozzi capitals were used. We also created a custom capital pattern for (16) Roman Corinthian square pilaster capitals made from plaster material. The building company was Stephenson Millwork, and the architect was Kevin Svensen of Glave & Holmes.
WHAT IS A BALUSTRADE?
Text Courtesy of: Architectural Digest
Text by Stefanie Waldek
Though you might not know exactly what a balustrade is, you probably encounter one more often than you’d expect. Found lining many staircases and terraces, a balustrade is a row of small columns topped by a rail. The term is derived from the form’s constituent posts, called balusters, a name coined in 17th-century Italy for the bulbous item’s resemblance to blossoming pomegranate flowers (balaustra in Italian).
“The balustrade’s functions are multiple, from reducing the possibility of a person falling off a stairway to cordoning off an area for the purposes of privacy, such as the gilded balustrade that separates the bed in the king’s chamber at Versailles from the rest of the room,” says Mitchell Owens, Architectural Digest’s decorative arts and antiques editor.
A notable example of the architectural element once graced the Castle of Vélez Blanco, a 16th-century Spanish structure designed in the Italian Renaissance style. The intricate marble balustrade lined a second-floor walkway overlooking a courtyard. The ornamentation around the terrace was disassembled in 1904 and eventually sold to banker George Blumenthal, who installed it in his Manhattan townhouse. The patio has since been reconstructed in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Balustrades continue to be used today in a vast variety of shapes and materials, from simple wood posts to elaborate wrought-iron spindles, for both decorative and practical purposes.