What Are Stone Quoins In Architecture? Why Are Quoins Used?
What Are Stone Quoins In Architecture?
Stone quoins in architecture are cornerstones that act as decorative and structural features. They are external angles or corners of a building that can be made from various materials, but most commonly from stone.
Quoins typically differ from the masonry of adjoining walls in terms of jointing, color, texture, and size, giving them a unique appearance that makes them stand out as aesthetically pleasing elements in a building’s design.
Why Are Quoins Used?
Quoins are used to provide structural support to buildings, especially when the other stonework is composed of rubble or fieldstone.
They also bring an aesthetic quality to traditional stone architecture, with their rectangular shapes providing visual interest at key points in a building.
In addition, quoins can add strength and durability as well as both visual appeal and structural stability to a structure.
Furthermore, using quoins can help indicate where one section of a building begins or ends and provide support for additional elements such as roofing or flooring.
All these factors make quoins an effective and popular choice for creating beautiful and structurally sound buildings that will last for many years.
When Did Quoins Become Popular?
Quoins began appearing in architecture as early as the 16th century but really gained popularity during the 18th and 19th centuries during the Georgian period. The use of quoins was used to frame doorways and windows or to decorate the facades of houses.
Historically, they were crafted from brick or stone and were a common feature of Georgian townhouses, villas, and other buildings.
Today quoins remain popular in Western architecture, although they are now often made from modern materials such as concrete blocks or natural stones.
What Are Quoins Made Of?
Quoins are an attractive and functional feature of many building exteriors, made typically from stone, brick, or concrete. Not only do they strengthen the external wall of a building, but they also visually accentuate the walls’ corners and create a sense of grandeur.
Quoins are built directly into the wall to provide structural support and weather protection – allowing them to be used both inside and out – with many buildings using quoins to add detail to the exterior.
Where Did Quoins Originate?
Quoins originated in 17th-century France, heavily rusticated, with roughened surfaces and recessed joints. This same treatment was applied to wall openings, such as windows, doors, and arches.
Sometimes, quoins can be dressed with smooth stones to contrast the rough rubble masonry walls. Nowadays, quoins are considered an external feature for added decoration or strength on a building’s corners or other facing options in the form of blocks, brickwork, or ashlar masonry.
What Is The Purpose Of A Quoin?
The purpose of quoins is two-fold; they both serve a structural purpose and provide aesthetic detail. Structurally, quoins reinforce the corner of a wall constructed with inferior stone or rubble, thus adding structural strength to the overall masonry wall.
Aesthetically, quoins can be carved from hard stone or used in combination with other blocks to give the corner of a building an attractive finish. Quoins generally come in many shapes and sizes and can add interesting texture to a building’s exterior.
In summary, quoins are masonry blocks that serve an essential structural purpose while adding to a building’s visual appeal.