Last edited 18 Apr 2018

Difference between pillars and columns

In architecture, the terms ‘pillar’ and ‘column’ are often used interchangeably.

A pillar is a vertical support member and may be constructed as a single piece of timber or concrete or built up out of bricks. A pillar often has a load-bearing or stabilising function but it may also stand alone as an ornamental element, such as a commemorative pillar, or to maintain symmetry.

Whereas a pillar does not necessarily have a load-bearing function, a column is a vertical structural member that is intended to transfer a compressive load. For example, a column might transfer loads from a ceiling, floor, or roof slab, or from a beam, to a floor or foundations. Columns are typically constructed in masonry or structural steel.

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