Last edited 02 Jul 2021



A buttress is a structure built against another structure in order to strengthen or support it. Historically, they have been used to strengthen large walls or buildings such as churches, but they continue to be used in large modern structures such as retaining walls and dams.

Buttress 2.jpg

Buttresses that are used to counteract, or retain, the lateral force of water or earth may be referred to as counterforts.

In their simplest form, buttresses may also be referred to as piers. See Piers for more information.

The term flying buttresses refers to an inclined beam carried on a half arch that projects from a structure to a pier which supports its weight and resists the horizontal thrust the of the structure.

Flying buttress.jpg

See Flying buttress for more information.

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