Bracket (architecture)

Bracket (architecture)

A wooden block, curving to become narrower near the left side, under a ceiling. Both have finely wrought detail on them. The scene is lit by ambient light from the right.
A classically detailed bracket at the chapel of Greenwich Hospital, London

Bracket for a shelf or hanging items.

A bracket is an architectural element: a structural or decorative member. They can be made of wood, stone, or metal — that projects from a wall, usually to carry weight and sometimes to "...strengthen an angle".[1][2] A corbel and console are types of brackets.[3]


Brackets can support many architectural items, including a wall, balcony, parapets, eaves, the spring of an arch, beams, pergola roof, window box, or a shelf.

In adjustable shelving systems, the bracket may be in two parts, with the load-bearing horizontal support fitting into a wall-mounted slotted vertical metal strip.

Brackets also are an element in the systems used to mount modern facade cladding systems onto the outside of contemporary buildings, as well as interior panels.

Architectural sculptures
Brackets are used in traditional timber framing including the support of a jettied floor which can be carved. Magdalene Street, Cambridge, England. Sixteenth century

Brackets are often in the form of architectural sculptures with reliefs of objects and scrolls. Depending on their material, decorated ones can be carved, cast, or molded. They can be of cast stone or resin-foam materials with faux finishes for use on new buildings in historic revival styles of architecture.

Some brackets and corbels are only ornamental, and serve no actual supporting purpose.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ accessed 3/3/2013
  2. ^ "Brass,Bronze,Iron Hand rail Brackets". Retrieved 2008-06-19. 
  3. ^ Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0). Oxford University Press; 2009
  4. ^ "bracket". Retrieved 2007-04-10. 
  5. ^ Poppeliers, John C. (1983). What Style is it?. New York: John Wiley & Sons. p. 106.