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Capital Moulding: What Is It?



When it comes to construction and design projects, moulding is a crucial element that could make or break the building’s overall aesthetics. With the right moulding design, you can truly convey what the building is inspired by. And that will leave everyone in awe.


Speaking of moulding, one of its most eye-catching types is those on capitals. Despite its location, we often find our eyes wander in their direction. And more often than not, we find ourselves admiring the capital moulding for considerable lengths of time.


But what exactly is capital moulding? What are its purposes for a structure? These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in this article.

Before we discuss what capital moulding is, let’s first dissect this into two words: capital and moulding.

In the context of architecture, capital refers to the topmost element of columns, piers, and other similar structures. It is often characterized by a unique styling that’s reflective of the designer’s artistic taste.

Otherwise referred to as the chapiter, the capital is famously known for three classical Greek styles or orders. We know them as the concave Corinthian, the convex Doric, and the intricate scrolling Ionic. But over the years, designers developed new and unique styles through their different mouldings.

Now that you know what capital is, let’s now talk about moulding. From an architectural perspective, this simply refers to the decorative elements of a structure. Usually, the moulding is used for outlining edges and contours to breathe more life into space. It makes the transition between one structural element to another appear smoother.


As a result, it leaves a feeling of oneness in its overall design. So with that said, capital moulding refers to the decorative design at the topmost portion of the column. It’s one of the most eye-catching elements in any structure, which is why much thought and planning go into its design.


Purposes of Capital Moulding

Now that you know what capital moulding is, allow us to dig deeper into this discussion. Here are the purposes of capital moulding that you might want to consider.

1.It conveys the architect’s vision for the building.

Architects are responsible for how the building looks, so they know each crevice and corner about it. Often, a building takes inspiration from everyday objects – and you’d be surprised by how these professionals transform that inspiration into a physical structure.


Capital moulding plays a big role in delivering that vision. These elements are often unique and intricate, making them the ideal centrepiece for the particular structure. As such, they are crucial to helping the architect convey his vision for the project.

2.It serves as ornamentation.

Another purpose for capital moulding is that it is used as ornamentation. You can even say that this is its main purpose.


When we think of capital moulding, our minds instantly think of classical designs with intricate swirls and similar patterns. Even those with minimalist designs still manage to catch our attention.

Since it connects the pillar to the ceiling – both relatively plain elements – it’s easy to see why it stands out.


While there are rules to follow in designing capital moulding, these are not too restrictive. The designer can still work around these rules to deliver the perfect style for the structure. So when it comes to the design, we can all agree that the sky's the limit.

3.It offers added support.

The positioning of this type of moulding also reveals another purpose. That is, it can offer added support. As we have discussed earlier, the capital is located at the topmost portion of the column or pillar. Since the main purpose of a column is to add support to the ceiling, then it goes without saying that the capital also plays a similar role.


Additionally, most capital moulding tends to protrude outwards from the column. That can also serve as extra support for the upper portion of the structure.

4.It covers gaps.

Aside from serving as an ornament and giving support to the structure, capital moulding also helps cover gaps.


In some cases, there can be a gap between walls, ceilings, and pillars. Unfortunately, that can be unsightly. In these instances, capital moulding can help it appear more connected.


Advantages of Capital Moulding

At this point, we’re now familiar with the different purposes of capital moulding. If you’re still hesitant about adding it to your project, maybe these advantages can help you change your mind.

1.It creates structural oneness.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages that we can enjoy from having capital moulding is that it creates a structural sense of oneness.


There is no denying that this element creates a harmonious balance between the column and the upper structure. Despite being two separate elements, the moulding makes it appear like a singular structure. It covers up harsh lines and edges, and that makes it quite easy on the eyes as well.

The best part about it is that this is a fact regardless of the moulding style used for the capital.


2.It instantly adds sophistication to the structure.

Aside from the harmonious aesthetics, capital moulding also adds sophistication to any structure or building.


In most cases, these mouldings are used to breathe life into an otherwise boring room. It can be very basic at first, but as soon as you add the finishing mouldings, you can see the difference.


Of course, a room that’s already grand will receive an aesthetic upgrade. Either way, the touch of sophistication from capital moulding is undeniable.

3.It helps preserve the overall structure.

And finally, capital moulding can help preserve the overall structure. As previously mentioned, the capital, as well as its moulding, offers extra support to the structure. In a way, that helps preserve the building to keep it from deteriorating faster than usual.

Also, this type of moulding uses durable materials. Despite its intricate designs, it’s not one to fall apart over time. And that guarantees that it will look great for decades to come.

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