The Garden Guide

Book: Designs for the pavilion at Brighton, 1808
Chapter: An Inquiry Into The Changes In Architecture

Iron columns in architecture

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But there is another consideration of greater importance, which relates to the MATERIAL of which the building is constructed. The EYE will not be pleased with THAT to which the MIND cannot be reconciled: we must be satisfied that the construction is safe, and that the material is equal to its office. The resistance of iron is greater than that of stone; but if iron columns be made to represent stone, they will appear too light and weak. On the contrary, if stone columns be made to resemble metal, they will appear too heavy and massive: and if either of those materials be made to imitate wood, not only the relative strength of each must be considered, but also the PRINCIPLES OF CONSTRUCTION, which are totally different in the Grecian and Gothic styles*. *[This remark is every day confirmed by the too slender groins of Gothic arches, to imitate stone, in plaster, or cast-iron, and the too slender columns of Grecian architecture in wood, painted to imitate stone and marble.]