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The Elements of Classical Architecture: The Corinthian Order

The Corinthian Order - Classical Architecture


5 AIA CES Learning Units|HSW and 5 credits towards the Certificate in Classical Architecture (Corinthian Order)


Acting as a base to the wider canon of classical architecture, the five classical orders have been used since antiquity as a means of proportioning buildings in a harmonious way, while simultaneously giving logic and meaning. The purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth study of the Corinthian Order, including its history and proportioning. The history will cover the evolution of this order from its roots in Ancient Hellenic cultures through its rediscovery in the modern-day movement of New Classicism. The study of Corinthian proportions will include a hand-drawn tutorial in which participants will compose the base, capital, and entablature of the order on paper according to the American academic William Ware, who founded the schools of architecture at Columbia and MIT. Ware in turn took his cues from the Renaissance architect Giacomo da Vignola.

Mason W. Roberts received his training in Classical Architecture and Historical Preservation at the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated Valedictorian with a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) in 2013. Since then, he has worked as a designer and draftsman at the award-winning firm Robert A.M. Stern Architects. An Associate at RAMSA, Roberts specializes primarily in Classical Institutional buildings. His corpus of projects include work for such institutions as the University of Virginia, DePauw University, Colgate University, the University of Georgia, the New York Historical Society, and the Virginia General Assemblies. Academic works in historic preservation include an in-depth analysis of the temples of the Roman Forum using laser-scanning technology, and documentation of the Historic Core of Mumbai, India.

A member of the ICAA’s Education Committee, Roberts has previously taught STRIPPED: The Art of Stylizing Classicism in a Reductive Manner, Elements: The Ionic Order, Elements: The Corinthian Order, Elements: The Composite Order, and Traditional Arch Construction. Roberts is also active in mentorship programs for primary- and secondary-aged students including the ACE program of Greater New York, and the New Heights Program.

REFERENCED TEXT (Not required to read before course)

Note: copies of essential plates from books below and additional sources will be provided.
Ware, William. R. (1994 reprint). The American Vignola: A Guide to the Making of Classical Architecture. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.

  • Plates and text on the Corinthian Order and related elements based on Vignola’s codification of Ancient Roman examples, as interpreted by the American William Ware.
    Onians, John (1989). “Bearers of Meaning: The Classical Orders in Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance”. Princeton University Press.
  • A narrative describing the origin of the Classical Orders and their evolution and use from Antiquity through the Renaissance.


What You Will Learn

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Understand the history of the Classical Orders from the Ancient World up to the modern day and how the Corinthian Order evolved to have unique connotations and uses.
  2. Understand the proportioning system of Classical Orders and its relationship to the built environment – specifically the importance of well-proportioned architecture to personal and societal welfare.
  3. Understand the use of traditional building materials and methods as a means of sustainability and creation of healthy environments, specifically the construction systems historically used from the ancient world up through the Renaissance and the revival of traditional methods today.
  4. Understand the application of the Corinthian Order to different building types and urban conditions, and how this application can enhance building and urban design to elicit positive emotional responses from users.


The Florida Chapter would like to thank their sponsors:

Patron’s Circle Sponsor

Woolems Luxury Builders
Fernando Wong Outdoor Living Design
Gil Walsh Interiors

Henry Flagler Donors




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October 30, 2021
5:30 am - 11:00 am
Free – $100.00
Event Category:


Glasgow Hall, Perez Architecture Center
1228 Theo Dickinson Dr
Coral Gables, FL 33146 United States
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