Exhibition “The Baluster Column: A Voyage to India”

Exhibition “The Baluster Column: A Voyage to India”

The baluster column is of bulbous, petal-like shape. Although it owes its name to the individual columns of a balustrade, its significance has long outgrown its supporting function. Today, the baluster column is a commonplace: it is representative of Indian architecture. The baluster column adds a touch of Bollywood glamour to the suburban house and serves as an oriental backdrop for the tourist selfie. However, the baluster column is far more than a cliché. In the course of its centuries-long history, it has always been a mediator: it stood between North Indian Mughal power and British colonial rule; between Eastern and Western cultures. Despite its importance and popularity, the Baluster Column remains a great unknown. It has never made its way into the column orders of architecture.

For the first time, the baluster column will take the centre stage. In the exhibition, which will be shown at the Faculty of Architecture of RWTH Aachen University, visitors can admire the prodigious variety of baluster columns. High-resolution images of columns on a scale of 1:1 as well as three-dimensional columns on a scale of 1:10 will be on display. A sound and video installation will transport the local contexts into the foyer of our faculty of architecture. A pictorial atlas will retrace the evolution of this special type of column. 


Reiff Foyer – Faculty of Architecture 

Schinkelstraße 1

52062 Aachen



The exhibition will be on display in the foyer of the faculty of architecture from 15 June to 30 June 2023.

Further information

The exhibition shows results of a research project carried out by the departments of Architectural Theory and Historic Building Conservation at RWTH Aachen University. It is funded by the German Research Foundation. 

The opening of the exhibition