- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 17 Mar 2017
In classical architecture, a pilaster is a rectangular support that resembles a flat column. It includes the usual features of a classical column; a capital at the top, the shaft of the column itself, a base and a plinth, but it usually only projects a third of its width or less from the wall.
Pilasters are traditionally used for decorative rather than structural purposes, often as a means of breaking up an otherwise empty expanse of wall. As with columns, different classical orders can be represented, and the surface of a pilaster can be left plain or can be fluted.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Barrel vault.
- Classical orders in architecture.
- Cornice coving and architrave definitions.
- Elements of classical columns.
- Italian Renaissance revival style.
- Trompe l’oeil.
Featured articles and news
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.