What is a Balustrade?

WHAT IS A BALUSTRADE?

Text Courtesy of:  Architectural Digest

Text by Stefanie Waldek

August 20, 2015
Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco, 1506–15. Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Patio from the Castle of Vélez Blanco, 1506–15. Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 decorative balustrade lines the roof of this Palm Beach, Florida, residence designed in a combination of the Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival traditions. Photo: Roger Davies

A decorative balustrade lines the roof of this Palm Beach, Florida, residence designed in a combination of the Beaux Arts and Mediterranean Revival traditions.
Photo: Roger Davies

The earliest examples of balustrades comes from ancient bas-reliefs, or sculptural murals, dating from sometime between the 13th and 7th centuries b.c. In depictions of Assyrian palaces, balustrades can be seen lining the windows. Interestingly, they don’t appear during the architecturally innovative Greek and Roman eras (there are, at least, no ruins to prove their existence), but they resurface in the late 15th century, when they were used in Italian palaces.
At a Water Mill, New York, home, a wrought-iron balustrade wraps the serpentine staircase in the entrance hall. Photo: Scott Frances

At a Water Mill, New York, home, a wrought-iron balustrade wraps the serpentine staircase in the entrance hall.
Photo: Scott Frances

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.


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Balusters & Balustrades: Familiar Elements of Classical Architecture

Over the years, Chadsworth has been recognized as providing builders, architects, & homeowners with architecturally correct columns – hence the name, Chadsworth Columns.

Two decades and four years have witnessed many changes for Chadsworth, including the recent expansion of product lines.  Although the company name is in no hurry to adjust its name, Chadsworth is proud to offer Architectural Balusters & Balustrade Systems — for residential & commercial projects!  Standard balusters & Stair balusters.  PolyStone®, Classic Stone, and Polyurethane (no not Polyurestone . . ).

Chadsworth invites you to browse the baluster collections, recommend or utilize . . . learn and share . . . and of course own and enjoy.

If you already have balustrade designs, drawings, specifications, or pictures – feel free to email to one of our Balustrade consultants at sales@columns.com

And you can always call 1.800.486.2118

All the best,

– The Column Guy

 

 

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Chadsworth Columns Offers New, Cutting-Edge Home Products

Chadsworth Columns Offers New, Cutting-Edge Home Products

Leading manufacturer / distributor is accompanied by Focal Point and Atlandtic Premium Shutters™ to offer a variety of home products.

WILMINGTON, N.C., October 7, 2009 — For more than 20 years, Chadsworth Incorporated has served the building industry with their award-winning columns, pergolas and balustrades. Now, they are excited to expand their commitment to the building community with the addition of new home products from Focal Point and Atlantic Premium Shutters™. When asked by their customers to extend their quality craftsmanship to more products within the architectural scene, Chadsworth responded with only the best products to ensure customer satisfaction.

“Chadsworth’s business model is changing with the times,” says Jeffery L. Davis, founder and designer of Chadsworth Incorporated. “Where we used to be just a column manufacturer and distributor, we have now partnered with several top tier companies to distribute their brands of products. Now, our clients can come to us to purchase all the architectural elements for their building projects like moldings, door surrounds, shutters, etc. and enjoy the professionalism and expertise they have come to expect from a name like Chadsworth.”

 

Chadsworth is proud to introduce Focal Point’s superior polyurethane moldings and distinct architectural elements such as domes, wall niches, niche caps, rosettes, corbels, casings and more. The assortment of products can be found under ‘millwork’ on their web site (www.columns.com). Together, their aim is to transform your home or building into a place of unmatched elegance. Whether interiorly or exteriorly, you are assured to find an array of designs that represent genuine architectural integrity.

 

They also are excited to provide you with the most refined and best functioning shutters. That is why Chadsworth Incorporated is joined by Atlantic Premium Shutters™. Both their Architectural and Classic designs are hand crafted to your specifications, which adds beauty and durability to any shutter. Also, their shutters are comprised of composite wood and an innovative fiberglass to ensure moisture resistance, rot deterrence and termite prevention.

 

Chadsworth Incorporated is eager to provide you with all of your home or building necessities, and we would like to again welcome you to our new lines of products by Focal Point and Atlantic Premium Shutters™.

 

For more information, please visit their web site, www.columns.com, or call 800.486.2118.

Polyurethane Balustrade Series Selected for Architectural Products Magazine’s Market of Choice

Chadsworth’s 1.800.COLUMNS new Polyurethane Balustrade Series was selected by Architectural Products Magazine’s to be included in its Market of Choice, which highlights the best new products. “We chose Chadsworth’s Polyurethane Balustrades for Markets of Choice because they fit the public building category,” says Editor Roy Diez, “they are durable, steel reinforced, and low maintenance; and you can choose from many traditional designs.”

 

The new Polyurethane Balustrade is lighter in weight yet has the same resistance to weather, rot, and insects as the established PolyStone® Balustrade line from Chadsworth.  The steel reinforced line features a range of classic styles that help highlight the types of traditional designs used by museums and cultural centers. The lighter weight is especially helpful in retrofit situations and rooftop applications.  They come with a lifetime warranty. Easy to install, they come with step-by step instructions and a lifetime warranty.  Polyurethane Balustrades enhance the value of any structure, adding beauty, strength and durability.