In Classical architecture, a giant order is an order whose columns or pilasters span two (or more) storeys. At the same time, smaller orders may feature in arcades or window and door framings within the storeys that are embraced by the giant order. At the Palaces on the Campidoglio in Rome, (1564-68) the facades were redesigned by Michelangelo Buonarroti with the first consistent giant order (of Corinthian pilasters). Michelangelo combined his giant pilasters with small Ionic columns that framed the windows of the uper story and flanked the loggia openings below.
The giant order became a major feature of later 16th century Mannerist architecture, and Baroque architecture. Its use by Andrea Palladio justified its use in neo-Palladian architecture and the giant order was a favored motif of the syncretic Beaux-Arts architecture of 1880-1920.
- Michelangelo's innovative giant order at the Campidoglio.