Why are columns shaped and structured particularly?

Underground construction… tunnels… concrete… water pipes… Did you got too underground? No worries today I have something more interesting information for you, to make you think about their structure and architecture along with its varied shapes.


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Yes, I’m talking about the vertical lines casted and constructed for bearing the load of building – Columns. To be very precise they’re used to transfer a compressive load. They are integral part of building and designed laboriously with a set of calculations. Talking about classical architecture, columns are often highly decorated with designs including Ionic, Doric and Corinthian and so on.

Doric Columns

We are more familiar with columns having an embedded steel mesh (known as rebar) to provide reinforcement. These are called as reinforced concrete columns. All the steel bars are so set that the spacing of the ties is limited or must be close enough to prevent failure between them and far enough apart that they do not interfere with the setting of the concrete.

With this clear idea, let’s move forward to the types of shapes of columns existing over wide use in construction. These can be classified according to their cross sectional shape such as,
• Rectangular
• Square
• Circular
• Hexagonal
• Octagonal

No more limiting to these, these are even L-shape, T-shape or different shapes of steel columns. In profile, they can be tapered, non-tapered, or ‘barrel’ shaped, their surface can be plain, fluted, twisted, panelled, and so on.

Square or Rectangular Columns –

Square and Rectangular Columns

They are generally used in the construction of buildings., which are common in practice; these types of column are provided only if the shape of the room is a square or rectangular shape.
It is way much easier to construct and cast than circular ones. This is primarily for the ease of working with the shuttering and to support it from it collapsing due to pressure while the concrete is still in flowable form. The square and rectangular ones are better and less costlier to cast.

Circular Columns –

Circular Columns

They are specially designed columns, they are mostly used in piling and elevation of the buildings. Why we use it in elevation? In order to avoid edges, we use this type of columns. they are also provided in sit out areas, auditoriums or fire assembly zones, where you have enough space for them not to hinder any movement of people or look bad with flat surfaces You can find circular columns as pillars of Bridges because there you don’t need to flush them to anything. Also circular looks aesthetic there.

Hexagon Columns –

Hexagonal Columns

Hexagon columns are generally modified columns. Having six sides, it gives good pictorial view generally used in elevation. It is adopted to give a good look to the column. It is generally provided in open verandahs, Auditoriums, Cinema halls etc.

Arch type Columns –

Arch type Columns

These type of columns are used when the room has a shape of an arch. It is adopted where there is a no chance of building square or rectangular or circular type of column. it is rarely used as it possess very difficulty in casting.

L-shaped Columns
T-shaped Columns

L-shaped Columns –

They are generally used in the corners of the boundary wall and has same features of a rectangular or square column. These kind of columns are very less used.

T-shaped Columns –

This kind of columns is used depending on design requirements and in the construction of bridges, etc. This has same features of a rectangular or square column.

Y-shaped Columns

Y-shaped Columns –

These columns are with or without arches based on types generally used in the construction of bridges, flyovers, etc. where there is a congestion of building more columns to withstand heavy loads on top.

Now it’s comprehensible to know about why that column is particularly structured there! I’m later gonna post about other properties signifying characteristic importance of utility. If you something more interesting related, mention in the comment section, I’ll definitely try to reach out. Stay tuned!


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