Several types of treatments are applied over openings. These are carved, sculpted or formed nature, and occasionally drawn objects.
One such method of Architectonic Expression is through Enhancement of Structural forms, Construction details and Joint configurations.
The intention is to highlight the structural nature of the openings’ elements. The treatments also emphasize the bearing elements of openings such as the side walls, lintels, arch like, against other parts of a building. Egyptian, Greek and early Roman openings were tapered headwords which made the opening seem more imposing and stable. Egyptians added tapering pylons with narrowing sculpted figures, and Greeks used tapering half columns for the same effect. Assyrians have used bands of polychrome bricks not just around openings but continuing in the lower section of the wall along the floor. Indian temples have various layers, such as of humans, elephants, etc. along the wall, but highly articulated around the openings. Gothic builders have used perpendicular elements like mullions, flutes in windows and terminated these into entwined floral traceried patterns at the head level. Palladio’s Window has the arch, side columns and side lights, all integrated into well-proportioned composition. Gaudi recast the window with a curvilinear surface to match the contour of the building. In modern detailing of the curtain wall, the surface is one continuous plane with all support elements skilfully concealed. Exposed stone and brick masonry and other material surfaces have openings high lighted through quoins, rustication, grooves, frieze bands, textural differentiation. Cams were devised to hold small pieces of glass together but soon became a tool for composition and became part of contour lines of the storyboard.
‘The Greeks, consciously or unconsciously, practised extreme simplicity in art, and the fine-grained marble that they worked also encouraged the tendency to leave purity of an outline to speak for itself. Thus, whether on the grand scale of a temple building like the Parthenon or in the single human figure as the Hermes of Olympia, they were content with beauty unadorned by distracting ornament’.
‘The Romans never seem to have been satisfied till they had loaded their monumental buildings with every possible ornamental addition. Here too again the influence of material is apparent; for concrete demanded a disguise, and coarse limestone did not permit of delicate purity of line and thus called for extraneous ornament, so the Romans completed the magnificence of their monuments by a wealth of decoration’. From: History of Architecture by Sir Banister Fletcher.