- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Dec 2016
Fluting, also known as reeding, is a series of regular, concave grooves or convex ridges running vertically or spirally along a surface. Typically, the term ‘fluting’ refers to the grooves found on a column shaft or pilaster.
Fluting features prominently in classical architecture; used in the columns of all the classical orders other the Tuscan. The Doric order has 20 grooves per column, while the Ionic, Corinthian and Composite orders have 24.
It is believed that fluting may have originated from the earliest columns of the Greeks which were made from tree trunks. Vertical gouges were left when the bark was shaved off the trunks. When they began using stone for columns, they continued to form gouges because they gave the columns a taller and more slender appearance. Fluting was also widely adopted for the feeling of rhythm which it gave to the columns and building composition, something that was considered important in particular by temple architects.
A variation is cabled fluting in which the flutes are partly filled by a small, cylindrical moulding or bead. This decorative feature typically does not extend higher than one-third of the height of the column shaft.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Bamboo pavilion built at London South Bank Uni.
Bringing in an expert.
Why the lowest price isn't sustainable.
The Most Economically Advantageous Tender.
Pipe dream or possibility?
The New Rules of Measurement.
Prioritising Sustainable Development Goals on projects.
The Architects Registration Board.
How BSRIA monitored the performance of new homes.