In the field of construction , there are elements such as the pilaster that serve as a pillar for the structure. In addition to being part of the aesthetics of a building, they play a very important role as they act as a reinforcement to support the weight of the construction.


What is a pilaster?

A pilaster is a type of structure that works like a pillar or column which is attached to the wall or to a wall to give structure , support , molding or decoration to a certain place.




The word pilaster has several synonyms so it is also common to know it as a pillar, column, point post, support, shaft, obelisk, mast, vertical tower, buttress, monolith and pedestal

Characteristics of the pilaster

This architectural structure is distinguished by its characteristics, among which the following can be mentioned:

  • It is a structure that it usually is attached or on the wall or wall of a building or architectural work.
  • It fulfills a type of structural function giving support or a merely decorative function .
  • It is made up of three different parts: the base , the shaft and the capital .
  • In ancient times they had a basic function for buildings, but nowadays they are more used only as an element of decoration.
  • In Baroque times there were three different pilasters, the stipe and the pillar .
  • They are used as part of the design of the façades to give a building more presence.
  • Currently they can be built of cement or with prefabricated materials .
  • It is very similar to a flat column .
  • decorative molding is added to them so that they have a better visual appearance.
  • They are found protruding slightly from the wall .


The origin of the pilaster has a long history of descent. Its great ancestor arose in ancient Greece , mainly in the construction of temples , which were heavy structures made of stone on a large scale. The Greeks built at that time a type of pillar with a very thick and straight terminal that they called “anta” . This structure was part of the wall and helped support the stress on the sides of the structure.

With the passage of time, the anta reached the Italian peninsula and was established within the architecture of Rome, however, the Romans had a different way of constructing their buildings so they kept the idea of ​​the anta but added more symmetry and visual force with a mainly aesthetic purpose, in this way the pilaster was born.

The difference between the two was based on the fact that in Rome, the pilaster was a merely decorative object that was used to give greater visual harmony to the entire design, while in Rome, the pilaster was a fundamental part of the structure. With the fall of Rome, these designs were on the verge of disappearing but were quickly adopted by the Italian Renaissance . This is how columns became a very important part of Renaissance structures .

The pilasters were born then as a basic element of both the aesthetic and structural part of the buildings, as a way to give the constructions a more Roman touch. Many of the Renaissance pilasters were only found attached to the buildings and the architects took it upon themselves little by little to introduce them into the facades , doors and windows .

After the Renaissance, architects still thought of including more neoclassical designs in their constructions and to achieve this they continued to use pilasters. In the Baroque , they were more decorated and elaborate and curved capitals were included to give them more stylization.

What is the function of the pilaster

The function of a pilaster in an architectural work can become structural in order to give greater stability and support to the construction, it can also function as a type of support for the roof of a building, for the roof or as a type of decorative molding to enhance the visual appearance of a particular location.


In ancient times, the pilaster was a very important structure for constructions as it was one of the means that the architects of the time had to give greater support to the structures of the large buildings they built. Another reason of importance was also the decoration , since they were widely used in this aspect as is done today. They are important because they provide buildings with greater beauty and enhancement, giving them a neoclassical and Roman touch , aspects that are very well seen especially in places such as large hotels.

It is also very important for the customization of houses, doors and even fireplaces as it gives these structures a more pleasant , warm and imposing appearance . It could be said that its current importance lies above all in improving the visual quality of buildings.

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