Colossal order

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Colossal order at the Palazzo Saporiti in Milan
Superposition at the Jesuit Church (Vienna) ; Pilasters from bottom to top with Doric, Ionic and Corinthian capitals (modified in Baroque style)

The colossal order (also great order ) is a term from architecture . It says that an order , namely a column , half-column, pillar or pilaster order , extends over two or more floors in a building . It therefore always consists of vertical structural elements with a base and a capital .

In classical architecture, which is derived from classical antiquity, one order usually only rules one storey. If a building has several floors, several orders are stacked one floor at a time, in the order Doric , Ionic , Corinthian (such as in the courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese in Rome), this order is called superposition. But preliminary stages of the colossal order can already be found in late Roman architecture. In modern times, the colossal order, mainly developed by Michelangelo and Palladio, has become an important element of facade design, initially above all in the Italian Renaissance : the columns in front of a facade extend over several floors and usually carry a massive cornice . An early, important example is Michelangelo's Conservator's Palace on the Capitol in Rome. In palace architecture, which is characterized by Renaissance and Baroque, the colossal order often encounters above a podium-like ground floor zone (east facade of the Louvre in Paris, Ehrenhof facade of the Würzburg Residence , Buckingham Palace , London).

The colossal order was used in all architectural epochs and styles that relate to ancient architecture: Renaissance , Palladianism , Baroque and Rococo , classicism around 1800, buildings in classic forms in 19th century historicism , 20th century neoclassicism , used in quotations even in postmodernism .


  • Monika Melters: Colossal order. On palace construction in Italy and France between 1420 and 1670 . Berlin u. a. 2008.