What Is A Bracket In Architecture?

What Is A Bracket In Architecture?

What Is A Bracket In Architecture?

A bracket is an intermediate component used to fix one part to another, usually a larger, part. It can be architectural and decorative, made of various materials such as wood, stone, plaster, or metal, and projects from a wall to carry weight and sometimes to strengthen an angle.

A corbel or console are type of architectural bracket. In mechanical engineering, a bracket can take various shapes, but the prototypical example is an L-shaped metal piece that attaches a smaller component, such as a shelf, to a larger component, such as a wall.

The vertical arm of the bracket attaches to the wall and the horizontal arm protrudes outwards to hold the smaller component.

To support greater weight, a bracket may have a third arm or be solid. The term bracket is also used to refer to any object that performs the function of attaching one part to another, even if it does not have an obvious L-shape, such as a bicycle lamp bracket or pipe ring.

History Of Brackets

A bracket is a right-angled fixing device that can be made of metal, wood, or stone. It can also refer to various other types of fixing devices such as flat metal plates or hanging devices. Historically, stone brackets were used to create overhangs and support beams, plinths, and cornices.

They were often seen in pairs and were not cantilevered. The word ‘bracket’ may have originated from French and Spanish words referring to supports or breeches.

Console brackets were decorative and structural supports found in Greece, while corbel brackets were less decorative and were formed as part of a structure to provide a perpendicular support.

The word ‘corbel’ is thought to come from the French for crow as the structure resembles a bird’s beak and was commonly used in medieval and renaissance times as well as in Babylonian architecture.

Uses Of Architectural Brackets

Brackets are used in architecture to support various items such as walls, balconies, eaves, and beams. They can also be used to hold statues or as part of adjustable shelving systems. In modern construction, brackets are utilized in the mounting of facade cladding systems and interior panels.

They can be decorative and sculptural in nature, made of various materials such as cast stone or resin-foam and can be used in historic revival styles of architecture.

Some brackets are purely ornamental and serve no structural purpose, such as those used to attach a bicycle lamp to a bicycle or pipes to walls.

Different Types Of Architectural Brackets

Brackets are a versatile decorative element which come in various forms, from volutes and scrolls to carved or molded designs. They can be purely ornamental or have names such as corbel or console. There are also many unnamed bracket designs that can be used for a variety of purposes.

Regardless of their form, brackets provide an elegant way to spruce up a room or enhance the design of furniture and other objects.

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