A pilaster is a slightly projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile. Rounded examples are more often called engaged columns.
In discussing Leon Battista Alberti's use of pilasters, which Alberti reintroduced into wall-architecture, Rudolf Wittkower wrote, "The pilaster is the logical transformation of the column for the decoration of a wall. It may be defined as a flattened column which has lost its three-dimensional and tactile value."
The pilaster is an architectural element in classical architecture used to give the appearance of a supporting column and to articulate an extent of wall, with only an ornamental function. In contrast, an engaged column or buttress can support the structure of a wall and roof above.
Pilasters often appear on the sides of a door frame or window opening on the facade of a building, and are sometimes paired with columns or pillars set directly in front of them at some distance away from the wall, which support a roof structure above, such as a portico. These vertical elements can also be used to support a recessed archivolt around a doorway. The pilaster can be replaced by ornamental brackets supporting the entablature or a balcony over a doorway.
The Augustusburg and Falkenlust palaces is a historical building complex in Brühl, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, which have been listed as a UNESCO cultural World Heritage Site since 1984. They are connected by the spacious gardens and trees of the Schlosspark. Augustusburg Palace and its parks also serve as a venue for the Brühl Palace Concerts. The Max Ernst Museum is located nearby.
The palaces were built at the beginning of the 18th century by the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Clemens August of Bavaria of the Wittelsbach family. The architects were Johann Conrad Schlaun and François de Cuvilliés. The main block Augustusburg Palace is a U-shaped building with three main storeys and two levels of attics. The magnificent staircase was designed by Johann Balthasar Neumann.
The gardens were designed by Dominique Girard. An elaborate flower garden for an area south of the palaces was also designed, but it was restructured by Peter Joseph Lenné in the 19th century and turned into a landscape garden. Attempts to renovate the area have proven difficult, due to poor source material availability.