What is an Acroterium?

An acroterium is an ornamental pedestal or statue located at the apex or corners of a building's roof.


An acroterium is an architectural feature used in classical architecture, often marking the corners or peak of a building's roof. These decorative elements can be found on the rooflines of ancient Greek and Roman structures, as well as on some neoclassical buildings. Typically, an acroterium serves a purely ornamental function, adding visual interest to the silhouette of a building. The decoration might range from simple geometric forms to elaborate sculptures, such as historical figures, mythological creatures, or symbolic motifs.

In the context of interior design, while the acroterium itself is an external feature, its influence extends to the overall aesthetic and architectural integrity of a building. An understanding of these classical elements can provide depth to architectural and design decisions, ensuring consistency between a building's exterior and interior. Additionally, motifs or styles inspired by acroteria can be echoed in interior decorative elements, creating a cohesive theme throughout a space.

In contemporary designs, acroteria are less common but can still be found in buildings seeking to evoke a classical or historical aesthetic. Modern interpretations of this architectural element might utilize new materials or simplified designs, but still serve to enhance the building's distinctive character.


In classical architecture, acroteria are used to adorn the apex and corners of temple roofs, adding grandeur and detail to the structure’s profile. In modern contexts, acroteria can be incorporated into public buildings, luxury residences, or institutions wanting to evoke historicity or formality.


  • Can acroteria be found on modern buildings?

    Yes, while less common, acroteria can be seen on modern buildings that seek to incorporate classical or neoclassical design elements, adding a touch of elegance and historic character.

  • Are acroteria purely decorative?

    Primarily, yes. Although originally they may have had religious or symbolic significance, today, acroteria serve mainly as architectural embellishments.

  • Can acroteria be used in interior design?

    Directly, no, since they are external elements. However, interior designs can incorporate motifs or themes inspired by acroteria to create a cohesive look that mirrors the building’s architectural style.

Practical Application

For designers looking to incorporate classical elements into a building, considering the use of acroteria or similar architectural features can be an effective way to enhance the building's facade and overall aesthetic. When designing the interior, motifs or themes from the acroterium could be subtly incorporated into decor, fabrics, or wall treatments and finishes to maintain a consistent style throughout the space.