A bracket is an architectural element: a structural or decorative member. It can be made of wood, stone, plaster, metal, or other media. It projects from a wall, usually to carry weight and sometimes to "...strengthen an angle". A
corbel In architecture, a corbel is a structural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight, a type of bracket. A corbel is a solid piece of material in the wall, whereas a console is a piece applied to the st ...
or console are types of brackets. In mechanical engineering a bracket is any intermediate component for fixing one part to another, usually larger, part. What makes a bracket a bracket is that it is intermediate between the two and fixes the one to the other. Brackets vary widely in shape, but a prototypical bracket is the L-shaped metal piece that attaches a shelf (the smaller component) to a wall (the larger component): its vertical arm is fixed to one (usually large) element, and its horizontal arm protrudes outwards and holds another (usually small) element. This shelf bracket is effectively the same as the architectural bracket: a vertical arm mounted on the wall, and a horizontal arm projecting outwards for another element to be attached on top of it or below it. To enable the outstretched arm to support a greater weight, a bracket will often have a third arm running diagonally between the horizontal and vertical arms, or the bracket may be a solid triangle. By extension almost any object that performs this function of attaching one part to another (usually larger) component is also called a bracket, even though it may not be obviously L-shaped. Common examples that are often not really L-shaped at all but attach a smaller component to a larger and are still called brackets are the components that attach a bicycle lamp to a bicycle, and the rings that attach pipes to walls.


Brackets can support many architectural items, including a wall,
balcony A balcony (from it, balcone, "scaffold") is a platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade, usually above the ground floor. Types The traditional Maltese balcony is ...
parapet A parapet is a barrier that is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure. The word comes ultimately from the Italian ''parapetto'' (''parare'' 'to cover/defend' and ''petto'' 'chest/breast'). ...
s, eaves, the spring of an
arch An arch is a vertical curved structure that spans an elevated space and may or may not support the weight above it, or in case of a horizontal arch like an arch dam, the hydrostatic pressure against it. Arches may be synonymous with vaul ...
, beams, pergola roof, window box, or a shelf. The term is also used to describe a shelf designed to hold a statue. 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 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.

Specialized brackets

Specialized brackets support the coverboards that shield third rails or support the
guide bar The rubber-tyred metro systems that incorporate track have angle irons as guide bars, or guiding bars, outside of the two roll ways. The Busan Subway Line 4, that lacks a rail track, has I-beams installed as guide bars. The flanges are verti ...
s of
rubber-tyred metro A rubber-tyred metro or rubber-tired metro is a form of rapid transit system that uses a mix of road and rail technology. The vehicles have wheels with rubber tires that run on rolling pads inside guide bars for traction, as well as tradi ...

See also

Dougong ''Dougong'' () is a structural element of interlocking wooden brackets, one of the most important in traditional Chinese architecture. The use of dougong first appeared in buildings of the late centuries BC and evolved into a structural net ...
, wooden brackets commonly found in East Asian architecture * Structural support


External links

* {{commons category-inline, Brackets (architecture) Architectural elements