Architectural Terms

This listing of architectural definitions is a “work in progress”. Please let me know of things I should add or mistakes I should correct as the definitions were copied/paraphrased from a variety of sources. I hope to eventually add or link to an illustration/photo for each one, especially the ones relating to Columbus, Indiana architecture. Submit your suggestions to email: ricky@iquest.net or enter them in the comments section at the bottom of the page. (v3.1.12)


A


AIA: American Institute of Architects

Allée: French word for a planned walkway. Dan Kiley liked to form allées using parallel rows of trees forming a dramatic walkway.

Arbor: a shaded structure often covered with shrubs, vines or branches.

Architect: a trained professional who designs and lays out plans for buildings and then sees that the plans are followed by the workers who construct the buildings.

Atelier: a French word for studio.

Atrium: a large space in a building open to the ceiling. An atrium usually has a glass ceiling or many windows to let in a lot of light.

Awning: a lightweight, roof-like covering – often made of canvas on a metal framework but also made of thin metal or plastic, with or without a frame – projecting from a wall, often above a window or door, to provide shade and protection from rain. Some awnings are fixed, and some awnings can be folded upward against the building.


B


Balance: when both sides of something weigh the same or are equal in other ways. In architecture, a building design can be radically assymetrical but still be a balanced compositon of elements.

Baluster: the post supporting a handrail.

Balustrade: the railing at a stairway, porch or roof.

Bas Relief: a shallow carving of figures or landscapes.

Bauhaus: a design school founded in Weimar, Germany, in 1919 by architect Walter Gropius. Many of the new experiments in design, architecture (International Style), painting and sculpture in the 1920s came from the Bauhaus. Although architecture was a main focus, some of the most famous designs for chairs, tables, stacking stools, lights, textiles, and dinnerware are still in use today.

Battered Wall: a wall leaning inward from its base rather than outward, a wall whose outer slope recedes from bottom to top. Battered walls are thicker at the bottom and taper toward the top.

Belt Course: a narrow horizontal band projecting from exterior walls, usually defining interior floor levels.

Belvedere: a projection from the top of roof; also called cupola.

Beaux-arts: an architectural style originating in France in the late 19th century and characterized by its grand scale, classical forms, rich ornamentation, massive proportions, and lavish, usually symmetrical, detailing.

Berm: a mound or wall of landscaped earth, usually used for separation or delineation.

Bracket: a support or fixture to hold something up. The supporting element under a cornice.

Breezeway: a roofed exterior passageway, open at the sides, connecting two separate structures.

Brise-soleils: refers to a variety of permanent sun-shading techniques, ranging from the simple patterned concrete walls popularized by Le Corbusier to the elaborate wing-like mechanism devised by Santiago Calatrava for the Milwaukee Art Museum or the mechanical, pattern-creating devices of the Institut du Monde Arabe by Jean Nouvel. A sun baffle outside the windows or extending over the entire surface of a building’s facade. Many traditional methods exist for reducing the effects of the sun’s glare, such as lattices (shīsh, or mushrabīyah), pierced screens (qamarīyah) as used at the Tāj Mahal, or blinds of split bamboo as used in Japan (sudare), shades used outside the windows that are similar in effect to venetian blinds. In the typical form, a horizontal projection extends from the sunside facade of a building. This is most commonly used to prevent facades with a large amount of glass from overheating during the summer. Often louvers are incorporated into the shade to prevent the high-angle summer sun falling on the facade, but also to allow the low-angle winter sun to provide some passive solar heating.

Broken Pediment: a pediment with cornices ending before they meet at the top with a finial often placed in the center.

Brutalism: the word brutalism was actually derived from the French phrase “béton brut” meaning raw concrete. It came to refer to a style of architecture utilizing mostly concrete formed into repetitive geometric forms. Usually the concrete was left unfinished with markings and textures from the forms left on the concrete to show honest expression of materials. It is usually characterized by massive monolithic forms, usually of poured concrete and typically unrelieved by exterior decoration.

Building Code: rules made by a governmental body about how a building must be constructed.

Bulkhead: a horizontal or inclined door over an exterior stairway to cellar.

Butterfly roof: an inverted gable roof in which two sloping planes, each pitching downward from the eaves, meet in a valley.


C


Cames: the leaded portions of stained glass windows.

Campanile: a tower.

Cantilever: a structural element supported only at one end or the portion of a structural element extending past the last support. In the case of a horizontal beam or slab, the unsupported portion of the element that projects past a supporting column, wall, or beam. A projecting overhang.

Capital: the top part of a pilaster or column

Carport: a roofed, open-sided storage place for a car.

Cartouche: an ornamental panel usually oval or scroll-shaped.

Casement Window: a window hinged on the side that opens like a door.

Chancel: in churches with a historic floor plan, the chancel is the front part of the church from which the service is conducted, as distinct from the nave, where the congregation sits. The chancel is usually an elevated platform, usually three steps up from the nave. In churches with a lecture-hall floor plan, the term sanctuary is often used to mean both chancel and nave because the two are not architecturally distinct. In the historic floor plan, the words chancel and sanctuary are often synonyms.

Clapboards: long thin overlapping wooden boards placed horizontally on the outside of a building.

Clerestory: a portion of an interior rising above adjacent rooftops and having windows admitting daylight to the interior or an upper portion of a wall containing windows for supplying natural light to a building.

Client: a person or group of people who hire a professional such as an architect for his or her services.

Cloister: a covered walk, usually around a quadrangle in a religious institution, having an open arcade or colonnade on the inside and a wall on the outside. Often a place of religious seclusion in a monastery or convent.

Coffer: an ornamental sunken panel in a ceiling or dome. One of a number of sunken panels, usually square or octagonal, in a vault, ceiling, or soffit.

Coffered Ceiling: a coffered ceiling is a ceiling that consists of recessed panels, sometimes trimmed with ornamental motifs. They were used in Greek and Roman architecture as both a decorative element and as a means of lightening the load of a heavy marble or stone ceiling. As seen in modern buildings it is often a square panel made of concrete, used for visual effect as well as to lighten the load of the concrete ceiling.

Collaborate: to work together and cooperate on a project.

Collaboration: cooperation and teamwork from different stakeholders to complete a project.

Collage: composition of different images and sometimes different media.

Colonnade: a series of columns supporting an entablature.

Column: a tall, upright pillar that helps support a building. A round vertical support.

Columniation: the arrangement of columns.

Commission: an order for something, such as a work of art or the design of a building. The artist or architect is commissioned to make a work of art, he or she takes into account the wishes of the people or group who have commissioned that work. Some clients will attempt to stictly control the design process, others will simply let the artist/architect interpret the vision of the client.

Composite Column: an elaborate combination of Ionic and Corinthian features.

Concentric: having a common center point, as in concentric circles.

Concrete: a building material consisting of sand or other fine aggregate and gravel or other large aggregate bound together by an adhesive paste of cement and water. Formable when installed, concrete sets into a dense, rock-like mass. Concrete may contain additional ingredients that modify its properties. Often, concrete is incorrectly called “cement,” which is only one of its ingredients.

Coping: the top course of a wall.

Coquillage: a seashell-styled decoration.

Corbel: a bracket or block projecting from the face of a wall.

Corinthian Capital: top part of a column characterized by large acanthus leaves and fluting.

Cornice: a horizontal molded projection that completes a building or wall. The upper slanting part of an entablature.

Corrugated glass: a sheet of glass molded with a cross section in the form of a sine wave that can support more load and diffuses light more widely than a flat glass of the same thickness. A method of making corrugated glass was first patented in the United States in 1898.

Cor-Ten Steel: a product designed to quickly oxidize and provide a maintenance free surface but it can sometimes cause other problems either due to faulty installation or simply limitations of the product.

Cresting: a line of ornamentation finishing a roof.

Crossbeam: a piece of wood that crosses an open space as part of a building’s frame.

Crenellations: comes from the base word, crena, the basic meaning of which is “indentation” or “notch”. In the case of crenellation, a fortifications word, this means a notch which provides an archer with shelter and a clear line of fire, like you see on the tops of castles. Square openings in the top of a parapet.

Crenulations: comes from the base word “crenula”, a diminutive of crena. So it’s the word for things like scalloped seashell edges, with little notches or worn patches.

Cruciform Column: a column formed in the shape of a cross allowing a more slender diameter yet maximizing its load bearing properties.

Cupola: a cup-shaped cap over a structure; often found on carriage houses. A projection from the top of roof; sometimes called a belvedere.

Curtain Wall: a non-load-bearing exterior cladding. Designed to support only its own weight and wind and seismic loads, supported by the building structure often at every floor. Although curtain walls are made of many materials, including masonry, in Modern architecture they were often constructed of metal frames with glass lights and glass or metal panels.


D


Dado: the mid-section of a pedestal, between the base and cornice.

Dentil: a molding made up of rows of small square blocks.

Diagonal: a straight line joining the corners of a square or rectangle.

Dichroic Glass: glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties. The main characteristic of dichroic glass is that it has a particular transmitted color and a completely different reflected color, as certain wavelengths of light either pass through or are reflected. It splits a beam of light into 2 beams with differing wavelengths. This causes an array of color to be displayed. The colors shift depending on the angle of view. Dichroic glass is an example of thin-film optics. When you look at this glass, it appears to have more than one color at the same time, especially when viewed at different angles. Often credited as an invention of the NASA space program it actually was orginally used by the Romans in the 4th century!

Dimension Stone: large blocks of stone used in foundations.

Doric Column: a column with a plain capital, no base or fluting.

Dormer Window: a window that projects from a sloping roof.

Double-Hung Windows: windows with two sashes sliding up and down.


E


Elephantine Columns: tapered columns, often used as porch supports on bungalows.

Enclosure: a structure consisting of an area that has been enclosed for some purpose.

Entablature: horizontal detailing above a classical column and below a pediment, consisting of cornice, frieze and architrave.

Exposed Aggregate Finish: a concrete finish in which the large aggregate – either typical washed gravel or more decorative crushed stone – is exposed by removal of the cement and fine aggregate from the surface of the concrete by brushing or pressure washing before the cement has set or by acid washing or light abrasive blasting after the concrete has cured. It is intended to provide a more interesting texture than a plain concrete surface.

Exterior: the outside of a building.

Eyebrow Window: a roof dormer having low sides; formed by raising a small section of roof.

Exedra: a wall alcove with bench space.


F


Facade: the main face or side of a building.

Fanlight: a fixed half-moon window sash above a door.

Fascia: a flat vertical board used to hide the ends of roof rafters.

Fenestration: the design and placement/arrangment of windows.

Fieldstone: stones of a size useful in construction found on the surface of the soil that are generally flat in the direction of bedding. These stones are typically used for building walls.

Finial: a decorative vertical roof ornament.

Fin Wall: a cavity wall that obtains added strength by connections to a series of equally-spaced piers.

Flat Arch: an arch without a rounded underside.

Flemish Bond (brick pattern): a brick pattern made up of alternating headers (short side of a brick facing out) and stretchers (long side of the brick facing out) on each course (row of bricks) with each header centered above and below a stretcher.

Flat Roof: a roof either with no slope (called dead flat), or with only enough slope (generally one-quarter inch per foot, to cause water to run to drains or gutters). Modern architecture is often criticized for the over-emphasis on flat roofs and the resulting extra problems caused by leaks.

Float Glass: glass made by floating molten glass on a bed of molten metal. The glass, which has a uniform thickness and flat surfaces, was developed in 1959. Float glass has completely replaced polished plate glass.

Fluting: narrow vertical grooves on shafts of columns and pilasters.

Foliated: decorative motif with leaflike ornament.

Formal: carefully following a set of prescribed rules.

Frame: the basic structure over which something is built.

Frieze: a band below the cornice.

Frontispiece: a small pediment over a door or window.


G


Gable: the upper triangular portion of a wall at the end of a roof.

Gable Roof: a roof shaped like an upside-down V.

Gambrel Roof: a double-pitched roof with end walls pointed at the top.

Gargoyle: a carved figure with grotesque features, often on corners of buildings.

Garland: an ornamental detail in the shape of a band of flowers.

Geodesic dome: a type of construction for enclosing a nearly spherical space using a frame constructed of many similar, light, linear elements interconnected at nodes to form polygons that, in turn, form a three-way spherical grid, which is covered by a membrane or panels. The nodes are derived from a regular polyhedron projected onto a sphere. The structure was patented by R. Buckminister Fuller in 1954.

Gingerbread: an elaborate wooden fretwork used on gables or as porch trim.

Glazing: glasswork, glass set or made to be set into frames.

Golden Mean: This refers to a mathematical proportion that is believed to be pleasing to human beings. It is also referred to as the golden section and is believed to have been used in building design since early Egyptian times. It was formally defined by the Greeks.
The golden mean refers to the lengths of sides of a rectangle to a particular formulae or proportion. This is expressed as a ratio of 0.618 to 1.0. The golden mean produces a harmonic effect called eurhythmy found in nature. This has been found to be aesthetically pleasing by many cultures over the centuries and is used today by many designers and architects not least of whom was le Corbusier.

Golden Section: This refers to a mathematical proportion that is believed to be pleasing to human beings. It is also referred to as the golden section and is believed to have been used in building design since early Egyptian times. It was formally defined by the Greeks.
The golden mean refers to the lengths of sides of a rectangle to a particular formulae or proportion. This is expressed as a ratio of 0.618 to 1.0. The golden mean produces a harmonic effect called eurhythmy found in nature. This has been found to be aesthetically pleasing by many cultures over the centuries and is used today by many designers and architects not least of whom was le Corbusier.

Gothic Arch: an arch with a pointed top.

Guilloche: a molding resembling twisted rope.


H


Helicline: a curved ramp.

Hipped Roof: a roof that slopes upward from all 4 sides.

Historicism: The deliberate use or revival of historical styles in contemporary architectural works.

Hoodmold: a decorative projecting trim above a window.

Horseshoe Arch: an arch in which the bottom is smaller than the mid-span. Often found in Moorish architecture.

HVAC: stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Selection and placement of HVAC systems are an important component of a buildings overall design.


I


Imbrication: the overlapping of shingles or tiles.

Impost: the horizontal band from which an arch begins.

International Style: a style of architecture which appeared in Europe between the 1920s and 1930s. Some of the characteristics included the use of new materials that allowed buildings to have outside walls of materials such as glass, instead of large heavy walls. The exterior of buildings had minimal decorative elements. Interiors were wide, open, free-flowing spaces instead of small, boxy rooms.

Interior designer: a professional who designs the furniture and decoration of the inside of a building, house or room.

Ionic Column: a slender, fluted column with spiral volutes on the capital.


J


Jamb: the sidepiece on doors and windows.

Jetty: an upper story projecting beyond the one below, also called a jutty.

Jutty: an upper story projecting beyond the one below; also called a jetty.


K


Keystone: a wedge-shaped stone found in the center of some arches.


L


Lanai: a veranda or porch, especially a fully furnished one used as a living room. Lanai is a Hawaiian word where the climate is especially attractive to this concept.

Lancet Window: a window with a pointed arch.

Landscape Architect: a trained professional who specializes in the design and execution of landscaping complementing buildings as well as the design of parks and freestanding gardens.

LEED certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) for environmental sustainability.

Lintel: a horizontal structural member that spans an opening. A lintel can be a load-bearing building component, a decorative architectural element, or a combined ornamented structural item. It is often found over portals, doors, and windows.

Loggia: an arcade or gallery open on at least one side.

Lug Sill: a sill that extends beyond a bottom window.

Lunette: a semi-circular window or wall panel.


M


McMansion: a slang term describing a large, pretentious house, generic in style or with patches of different incompatible architecture styles and often of shoddy construction.

Mansard Roof: a double pitched roof in which lower pitch is nearly vertical and upper is nearly horizontal.

MCM: mid-century modern

Memorial: something designed to preserve the memory of a person or an event, like a monument or a special day. The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., and Presidents Day in February are both memorials to our first president.

Mew: a secret place, a hideaway.

Mezzanine: a partial story between two main stories, usually projecting as a balcony.

Mid-Century Modern: is an architectural, interior and product design form that generally describes mid-20th century developments in design, architecture, and urban development from roughly 1933 to 1965. Characterized by clean lines, open spaces and cutting edge materials.

Modernism: a style of architecture using simplicity of design, minimal decoration and large, free-flowing spaces.

Modillion Blocks: ornamental scroll-shaped brackets or blocks found under the cornice.

Module: a dimension used to space structural elements and other building components so that elements of the building can be interchangeable to achieve economies of scale.

Mullion: a vertical member separating two or more windows.


N


Narthex: the foyer or entryway of a church. A corridor leading to a church sanctuary. The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area, located at the end of the nave, at the far end from the church’s main altar. While the historic narthex was the entry room to the worship space, the modern use has adapted to a social gathering space before and after worship.

National Historic Landmark: A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance. It is America’s highest designation for historic structures. While there are many historic places across the nation, only a small number have meaning to all Americans–these we call our National Historic Landmarks. Out of more than 80,000 places on the National Register of Historic Places only about 2,430 are NHLs.

National Historic Register: The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) is the United States government’s official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation.

Nave: the part of a church where the congregation gathers for worship, as opposed to the front part of the church from which the service is led. In churches with a lecture-hall floor plan, the term ‘sanctuary’ is often used to mean both chancel and nave because the two are not architecturally distinct.

Neo-classical: “new” classical, newer buildings that are inspired by the classical architecture of ancient Greece and Rome. Characteristics include symmetrical shape, tall columns that rise the full height of the building, triangular pediments and domed roofs.

Newel: a post supporting one end of a handrail at top or bottom of stairs.

Niche: a wall recess, sometimes reserved for statue.

Norman Brick: A norman brick is a type of solid clay brick with dimensions 4 x 2 2/3 x 12 inches, the same height as “standard” brick but 4″ longer.


O


Oculus: a circular or eye-like opening in a wall or at the apex of a dome.

Ogee: molding with both concave and convex curves.

Oratory: the room or a portion of a room in a church that is set aside for an individual to conduct personal devotions. The word oratory comes from a Latin word that means a place to pray.

Oriel: an upper-story projecting bay window with corbels or brackets.

Ovolo: convex molding also called quarter round.


P


Palladian window: one with an arched center section flanked by lower flat-topped sections.

Parapet: a parapet is a wall-like barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony or other structure. Where extending above a roof, it may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a fire wall or party wall. Historically, parapets were used to defend buildings from military attack but are typically used now as decorative elements or as a barrier to conceal something on the roof. The part of a wall that extends beyond the roof.

Patera: a round or oval disc, usually ornamented with a rosette in the center.

Pediment: a triangular gable end of roof above cornice.

Pendant: a hanging ornament.

Pent Roof: a sloping roof attached to side of building.

Pier: a square pillar or post.

Pilaster: a half column or pier attached to a wall.

Plate glass (or polished plate glass): a type of clear glass, generally thicker than normal window glass, ground and polished on both sides to achieve optimum clarity and produce in large sheets for glazing curtain walls and window walls. Polished plate glass was available as early as the 1870’s. Modern houses with floor to ceiling glass were glazed with polished plate glass, which is no longer manufactured. Damaged and missing plate glass is often replaced with float glass.

Plaza: a broad, paved, open-air public area.

Pleaching: To plait or interlace (branches or vines, for example), especially in making a hedge or an arbor, to shade or border with interlaced branches or vines, a method of pruning and training trees or shrubs to produce a hedgelike wall.

Plenum: A separate space, called a plenum, is often allocated to house and allow air circulation for HVAC and communication cabling, typically in the space between the structural ceiling and a drop-down ceiling or under a raised floor.

Plinth: a raised platform upon which sits a column.

Pop Art: a artistic style trend of the 1960s that used objects from everyday life, or popular culture; for example, soup cans, french fries, and spoons.

Porte-Cochere: a roofed structure extending from the entrance of a building over an adjacent driveway and sheltering those getting in or out of vehicles (the French word ‘porte’ means door, ‘cochere’ means carriage. The literal meaning is ‘carriage door’). A porch roof projecting over a driveway.

Portico: a porch supported by columns, usually above an entrance.

Postern: a side entrance.

Precast concrete: masonry units made of concrete, sometimes reinforced, which are generally cast in molds and cured in a shop, allowing greater quality control than is possible when pouring concrete on site.

Process: a series of actions to produce a goal.

Putto: a statue of naked chubby baby; similar to a cherub but with no wings.


Q


Quatrefoil: a 4-lobed motif; usually in block shape.

Quoins: units of cut stone or brick used to accentuate the vertical corners of buildings.


R


Reception hall: a large room for gatherings or parties.

Reeding: the opposite of fluting; a protruding half-round molding.

Reinforced concrete: a composite material made of concrete, which is able to resist compression forces, and steel – usually in the form of rods, bars, mesh or other materials that is able to resist tension forces. Reinforced concrete is most often employed as a structural material, but it can also be used for cladding and for decoration. It has been used in the United States since the last years of the 19th century.

Reveal: a continuous groove between adjoining planar surfaces. In Modern architecture, reveals were often used at edges of building elements, such as walls and cabinets, to create the illusion that the elements are planes or solid objects floating in space rather than attached to adjacent building elements. Also, the continuous recess between a door or window frame and the surface of the adjacent wall

Ribbon window: a horizontal band of fixed or operable sash separated by mullions. Also, a horizontal band of lights separated by mullions or butt-joint glazed.

Rusticated: stonework with beveled or angled edges.


S


Sacristry: a room in a church housing the sacred vessels and vestments, also called a vestry.

Sash: a frame in which the glass panes or a window are set.

Scale: the size of an object in relation to things around it.

Scrollwork: ornamental work with curvilinear open patterns.

Segmented Arch: an arch that does not form a complete semi-circle.

Sill: the bottom member of a window or door.

Silhouette: an outline drawing of an object or building usually solidly colored in.

Site: the place or plot of land where something is built.

Site-specific: a design intended for one specific location or space.

Soffit: underside of an eave, lintel or other horizontal element.

Space frame: a three-dimensional, truss-like structural frame composed of relatively short linear elements joined together with connectors, which is most generally used to span wide spaces and is often covered with glass or with metal panels.

Spandrel glass: glass with an opaque or only slightly translucent colored coating, generally ceramic, fired on its rear face, which is used to glaze sections of a wall to conceal structural members, mechanical equipments, and other building components. It is most commonly used to glaze spandrel panels of high-rise curtain walls. Spandrel glass was introduced in the 1950s.

Spindle: a turned vertical wooden element used in stair railings or porch trim.

Stack-effect ventilation: a system of natural ventilation where hot air rises and exits openings (or trickle vents) higher in the structure and thereby pulls in cooler air from openings below.

Stoop: a small porch leading to entrance of a house.

Studio: a space where an artist or architect works.

String Course: a horizontal band of masonry wrapping around entire facade of building.

Symbolic: using a symbol or an object to stand for a greater idea.

Suspended ceiling, hung ceiling, dropped ceiling: A ceiling, typically of plaster, gypsum board, or acoustical title, suspended below and generally supported by the structural ceiling above.

Symmetrical: balanced, evenly placed, the same on both sides.

Supergraphics: large-scale painted or applied decorative art or text in bold colors and typically in geometric or typographic designs, used over walls and sometimes floors and ceilings to create an illusion of expanded or altered space. They are very large, usually brightly colored, graphic images of simple design.


T


Technique: a method or way of doing something.

Temple: a building used for worship.

Terrace: an open area connected to a building; usually paved.

Terra Cotta: fired clay often used for decorative ornamental details.

Tongue-and-groove: a joint made between two boards by means of a tongue along the edge of one board that fits into a matching groove along the edge of the other board.

Tracery: interlaced lines that form the lacy openwork of a Gothic-style window.

Transom: a small window above a door.

Trayle: a decorative motif of continuous vine, leaf and grape clusters

Trefoil: a clover-leaved pattern.

Turpet: small tower on corner of building supported by corbels.

Tuscan Column: Simple column with a plain shaft.

Trusses: large beams that are often arranged in triangles, which support a roof or bridge across an open space.

Triglyph: banded decoration in a frieze

Tympanum: triangular face of a pediment.


U


Unistrut space frame: a three-dimensional, truss-like structural frame composed of relatively short linear elements joined together with connectors, which is most generally used to span wide spaces and is often covered with glass or with metal panels. Unistrut was a company that supplied many of the materials and special configurations to construct space frames (they are now owned by Delta Structures Inc).


V


Vermiculation: Decorative masonry surface with shallow channels.

Veranda: Porch that runs along front or side of a building supported by pillars or columns.

Vestry: a room in a church housing the sacred vessels and vestments, also called a sacistry.

Virtual tour: a computer-generated tour in which the viewer gets the sense of actually walking through a building or space.

Volute: a spiral ornament, found especially in the capitals of the Ionic, Corinthian, and Composite orders.


W


Waffle Slab: a two-way floor or roof system consisting of a reinforced concrete slab poured with integral joists or ribs in two directions beneath it. The system has a waffle-like pattern when viewed from below.

Wainscot: facing of wood paneling, usually covering the lower portion of interior wall.

Widow’s Walk: a narrow platform on a roof; usually with wooden or wrought-iron balustrade.

Wing: building part projecting from a central or main part.


Y


Yoke: Top of a double-hung window

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Architectural Terms — 9 Comments

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