Architraves in Home Structures

The structure of a house is defined, fundamentally, by the construction systems. Architraves are basic elements that can also participate in the decoration itself.
Architraves in Home Structures

Last update: 31 March, 2021

Architecture comprises different formats and designs that make up the interiors and exteriors of buildings. Here you’ll find out about architraves in homes and how they’re presented.

One of the fundamental requirements of a house is stability. Horizontality, verticality, and straight lines usually predominate; however, there are also other interesting approaches such as the use of arches, pediments, or curved lines.

These elements allow us to better enjoy the whole. Aesthetically they have a lot to say and, of course, some contribute in a more functional way than others. But all of them offer an aesthetic contribution.

What is an architrave?

A house with architraves in the snow.

As a general rule, architraves can be found everywhere. Do you know what they are or how they’re made? Believe it or not, all home infrastructures make use of this type of design.

They consist of a straight entablature, also known as a lintel, with two supporting elements on both sides, either columns or the wall itself. Both of these include an arrangement of right angles and are part of the structure of the home.

In fact, this architectural system has thousands of years of history. Even in prehistoric times, people implemented this type of structure. It’s a conventional treatment that’s present in all constructions and that nowadays is also found in houses.

basic  support structure for houses.

Where you’ll find architraves

You’ll find architraves everywhere in houses. In one way or another, they are there, behind the paint, or seen through their materials. There are, therefore, different approaches to fit them into homes:

  • They serve as a frame for doors by providing a sense of balance and stability that’s pleasing to the eye. They’re the counterpart to the arch and,  have the ability to support and strengthen the structure of a building.
  • They’re usually present in the entrance portico, as well as in a wide range of windows, following the line of the moldings, which can be finished with a pediment or with a more eye-catching frame, carved in wood or made of plaster.
  • Another interesting structure is doors with an upper lintel that remains visible. This can be seen as a small beam that protrudes or that’s easily identified by its tone. This is how they differ from walls or other decorative elements.
  • In old houses, large granite, sandstone, or limestone slabs were often placed just above a door. In the same way, stones can be arranged as voussoirs, to configure a unique lintel.

The architrave in the structure of the home – strength and stability

A grand house entrance with architraves.

Among the most significant aspects reflected by this architectural system are the feelings it provokes. As mentioned above, it transmits a sense of stability.

In addition, it clearly gives off a sense of security; that is to say, it holds everything up by providing a solid structure. However, it’s still a basic and simple design that reflects aesthetic purity.

Architraves can be found in any type of home. It doesn’t matter if the home is old, modern, or contemporary, they make sense in all styles and are relevant if other formats are blended with them to generate contrast. In other words, they’re a conservative resource that homes can’t do without.

Today, this is still the most predominant structural system.

In which styles do architraves have the greatest impact?

There’s no one style in which they fit best; in fact, you’ll find them in any house, whatever style it may be. What’s needed is that it fulfills its purpose – to create a firm and stable structure that, in turn, enriches the decoration.

Architraves probably remind you of the most classical designs. Even so, they’re used in the most contemporary styles, such as minimalism. In short, they are part of an architectural design that, wherever you look, is present in both interiors and exteriors.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • AA. VV.: Nuevas formas: revista de arquitectura y decoración, Edarba, 1935.