Molding Profiles are usually “open” Shapes that adorn horizontal edges in an architectural form. They can be used along the bottom edge as a base molding, the top edge as a cornice molding or somewhere in between as a chair rail, picture rail or belt course.
Moldings are important to give scale to an architectural form and to provide an articulation of an edge, a kind of punctuation at the end of a planar expanse. Our eyes respond to such outlining of edges as a means of quickly understanding a space, particularly in the virtual world, where our minds need to assemble 3D space out of a series of 2D images.
Molding proportions are subtle, but can have a large impact on our perception of space and judgement of style. Theories of moldings have been circulated since at least Roman times with the classical author Vitruvius, through the Renaissance and up to the late 19th century. During the Modern movement in architecture, moldings got a bad rap as part of an overall distaste for decoration. In the virtual realm, particularly with the creation of environments based on historical styles, moldings are back in the limelight once again.