What is a balustrade?
The balustrade is a kind of auxiliary facility of buildings, which is commonly seen on buildings and surrounding partitions of public facilities, acting like walls or hedges. Compared with walls, the balustrade is featured in less cost and more visual regions.
The balustrade, which appeared as early as in 13th – 7th Century B.C., could be seen in ancient rilievo or fresco. In China, balustrades made of marble or wood appeared on the terrace of ancient buildings or in private gardens, while in European countries, classic stone balustrades became popular since the start of the Renaissance.
The functions of balustrade
The balustrade plays the roles of partition and guiding in buildings, making the boundaries of the partitioned areas clear. For modern balustrades, some well-designed balustrades are also decorative, and some others are equipped with lamps to illuminate in the nights.
Structure and size of balustrade
The balustrade can be divided into two types: discrete and continuous. The former balustrade is composed of posts, handrails, and crosspieces, for which the handrails are supported on the posts; and the continuous balustrade, which has continuous handrails, is composed of handrail, crosspieces, and base.
The balustrade can be made with the hollow or solid structure. The hollow balustrade contains posts and handrails, some of which are also set with crosspieces or other decorations. And the solid balustrade contains panels and handrails, which may also have local hollow parts. Besides, the balustrade can also be made in stool or backrest shape.
The balustrade can be made in low height of 0.2-0.3m, medium height of 0.2-0.3m, and high height of 1.1-1.3m. And the interval is usually set as 0.5-2m between balustrades.
Materials and classifications of balustrades
Materials applied for making balustrade in ancient times include wood, stone, brick, tile, and bamboo, etc. For modern balustrades, the main materials are concrete, stainless steel plate, stainless steel and aluminum tubes, aluminum profile, steel wire rope, toughened glass, and anti-corrosive wood, etc.
According to the materials, the balustrades can be divided into glass balustrade, stainless steel balustrade, steel wire rope balustrade, aluminum balustrade, wood balustrade, cast-iron balustrade, and stone balustrade, etc.