Definition of Arcade
Efficiency of Arcading
Because individual arches exert lateral pressure, using them in a series is structurally efficient so that they can brace each other, much as the voussoirs of an individual arch brace each other.
In Roman architecture, piers were the standard form of support for arcades. When used for important public buildings, arcades were usually ornamented by decorative columns carrying entablatures as can be seen at the Theater of Marcellus.
Columns were not used for supporting arcades until late in Roman history. The use of arches over columns at Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia, exemplifies a late Roman inventiveness in creating new combinations of forms.
Post-Roman Uses of Piers and Columns
Piers to support arches were re-introduced at the end of the fifteenth century in Rome for the Benediction Loggia, the courtyard of the Palazzo Venezia, and the entrance loggia of its church, San Marco. By the sixteenth century, their use was common as exemplified by the courtyard of the Palazzo Farnese.
Bridges, Aqueducts, and Triumphal Arches
Supportive Open Partitions