An In-depth Exploration of Ogee Architrave: Elegance in Architectural Detailing

Architecture is not merely a combination of bricks and stones. It is a form of art that has evolved over centuries, reflecting different cultures and beliefs. In every period, architects have used their imagination and creativity to create masterpieces that leave us awestruck. One of the most elegant features of architectural detailing is the ogee architrave. It is a design element that is found in many historical buildings, and it still makes an impression in contemporary architecture. In this article, we will take an in-depth exploration of the ogee architrave, which has become a timeless symbol of sophistication and luxury.

What is an Ogee Architrave?

An architrave is the most fundamental element of a classical order and is the beam that rests on top of two columns or pilasters. Ogee architrave, on the other hand, is an ornamental molding that runs along the top of the architrave. This type of architrave features a concave section on the inside, which is blended into a convex exterior edge. The profile created by this combination of curves resembles an S-shape and thus, the name ogee. An ogee architrave can be found in different sizes and styles, depending on the period in which it was used. The profile of an ogee architrave is symmetrical because it is a mirror image of itself, which adds to its beauty and elegance.

History of the Ogee Architrave:

The history of the ogee architrave dates back to the Gothic period, which was between the 12th and 16th centuries. It was used in the decoration of window traceries, arches, and doorways. During the Renaissance period, the ogee architrave took on a more refined look and became a prevalent feature in classical architecture. In the 18th century, architects started to experiment with a more simplified version of the ogee architrave, which led to the creation of the Greek revival style. This style was characterized by the use of simple and unadorned moldings.

Examples of Ogee Architrave in Architecture:

The ogee architrave has been used in a variety of historical buildings, such as the Palace of Westminster in London, the Trevi Fountain in Rome, and the Taj Mahal in India. In contemporary architecture, the ogee architrave is often seen as a tribute to the classical era. It can be found in modern buildings, such as The Shard in London, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan. The use of the ogee architrave in contemporary architecture shows how a classic form of ornamentation can be adapted to suit a modern aesthetic.

Advantages of using an Ogee Architrave:

An ogee architrave is not just a pretty ornament; it also has practical benefits. One of the significant advantages of ogee architrave is that it adds depth and richness to a building’s facade. The intricate molding creates a play of light and shadow, which enhances the building’s appearance. Ogee architrave can also be used to conceal gaps and seams between walls and ceilings, and it can make a room look taller and more spacious. An ogee architrave is an excellent addition to any building that requires a touch of elegance and sophistication.


The ogee architrave is a timeless symbol of elegance and sophistication in architectural detailing. It is a testament to the creativity and skill of architects who have created masterpieces that have stood the test of time. The ogee architrave has a rich history, which can be traced back to the Gothic period, and it continues to make an impression in contemporary architecture. The use of an ogee architrave has many practical advantages and can be adapted to suit a modern aesthetic. It is an ornament that adds depth and richness to the facade of a building and makes it stand out from the rest. The ogee architrave is a testament to the power of design in creating beauty and delight.