Architect Firm at Natick, Framingham MA - Millhawlk

Architectural Terms & Definitions

Discover everything about the main architectural terms in our glossary and take the opportunity to find out how Millhawlk can help you

What is Pilaster in architecture?

Millhawlk Design & Architecture

What is Pilaster in architecture?

A pilaster in architecture is a vertical element that resembles a flat column or pier. It is typically attached to a wall and serves as a decorative or structural element. Pilasters are often used to give the appearance of supporting a structure, even though they may not actually bear any weight.

History of Pilasters

Pilasters have been used in architecture for centuries, dating back to ancient Greek and Roman times. They were commonly used in classical architecture to create a sense of symmetry and proportion in buildings. Pilasters can be found in various architectural styles, from neoclassical to baroque to art deco.

Types of Pilasters

There are several types of pilasters, including Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Each type has its own distinctive characteristics, such as the shape of the capital or the ornamentation on the shaft. Pilasters can also be fluted or smooth, depending on the desired aesthetic.

Function of Pilasters

Pilasters serve both decorative and structural purposes in architecture. They can be used to frame doors and windows, create visual interest on a plain wall, or divide a space into sections. In some cases, pilasters may also provide additional support for a building.

In need of a design or architecture service? Get in touch now and find out about our services.
Millhawlk has the best team of professionals in the region!
Architecs Near me? We help you
(774) 300-2972

Design Considerations

When incorporating pilasters into a design, architects must consider the scale, proportion, and placement of the elements. Pilasters should complement the overall style of the building and enhance its architectural features. Careful attention to detail is essential to ensure that pilasters are integrated seamlessly into the design.

Examples of Pilasters in Architecture

Pilasters can be found in a wide range of architectural structures, from grand palaces to humble homes. They are often used on facades, interiors, and even furniture to add a touch of elegance and sophistication. Some famous examples of pilasters include the White House in Washington, D.C., and the Palace of Versailles in France.

Modern Interpretations

In contemporary architecture, pilasters are still used to create a sense of tradition and classical beauty. However, modern architects have also found creative ways to reinterpret this classic element, incorporating it into sleek and minimalist designs. Pilasters can be seen in both traditional and cutting-edge architectural projects.


Pilasters continue to be a timeless and versatile element in architecture, adding depth and character to buildings of all styles. Whether used for decorative purposes or structural support, pilasters remain a popular choice for architects looking to enhance the beauty and functionality of their designs.

Browse the Glossary