The ArchitecturalDictionary





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A
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Acanthus leaf The architecturaldictionary

ACROTERIUM The architecturaldictionary

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Angel-lights - the upper panes of glass or "lights'" in a curved window frame, next to the springing.

ARCHITECTURAL PATTERN BOOKS-In the 18th and 19th centuries a flood of pattern books were published in Great Britain and the United States. Authors freely borrowed ideas and information. Advice on Classicism, draughtsmanship and construction were included in these pattern books. Architects, as well as master carpenters and masons, acquired these books to educate themselves and glean design ideas. Clients used these books as design help.
 
 
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Architectonics- Architectonic is used to describe the art and science of building and construction. It refers to the sensibility to form and design, particularly to the preference of the simple over the complex, and the well-built over the mass-produced. Today, the word is used in a semiotic sense to refer to the use of parts as expressive signs that constitute the language system of the building.
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Arris -an architectural term that describes the sharp edge formed by the intersection of two surfaces, such as the exterior corner of a masonry wall or the interior intersection of wall or wall/ceiling corner, or any intersection of architectural details. Also the raised edges which separate the flutings in a Doric column.

 
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Articulation - the manner or method of jointing parts such that each part is clear and distinct in relation to the others, even though joined.

 
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Ashlar masonary - Ashlar Masonry is usually done with squared (quarry cut) stone. Although the height and width of the stone will vary, the mason lays stone of equal height but unequal length in regular courses. Each course may use stones of a different height, but all stones in one course have about the same height. A Random Ashlar Pattern is a type of ashlar construction where the building blocks are laid apparently at random, but usually are placed in a definite pattern which is repeated again and again. There are no regular courses of one height. Stones of different heights and lengths are laid next to each other.
 
 
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Astragal — semi-circular molding attached to one of a pair of doors to cover the air gap where the doors meet.

Atrium - A usually skylighted central area, often containing plants, in some modern buildings, especially of a public or commercial nature.

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B
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Bannister

bargeboards - Decorative boards fastened to the projecting gables of a roof.
bargeboards

Baroque- a post-Renaissance style started in Italy and Spain, popular in Europe in the 1600s - 1750s. Baroque means “irregular, contorted, grotesque”. A time of grand scale where everything was grandeous and highly ornamented. The Rococo Period reflects style in its most extreme.
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Barrel Tiles - Rounded clay roof tiles most often used on Spanish-style houses.
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Barrel Vault - A tunnel like hall created by building a long series of arches. Barrel Vault

Baseboard - Also called "base molding" or "skirtboard" — used at the junction of an interior wall and floor to protect the wall from impacts.
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Batter Boards - Boards erected at the corners of a proposed building to specifically locate and show corners and show foundation wall height. batter boards

Bauhaus – A style of architecture that reflected the push towards functionalism and industrial design.
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Batten — a symmetrical molding that is placed across a joint where two parallel panels or boards meet

battered chimney - a brick or masonry chimney with sides that are graduated so that its rectangular shape is wider at the bottom than the top.
Battered base, Battered plinth: The projection at the base of a wall which sloped outwards. Also known as battering.
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Battlements - in defensive architecture such as that of city walls or castles in which portions have been cut out at intervals to allow the discharge of arrows or other missiles.
battelment

Bearing partition - An interior wall supporting weight from above.
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Beaux Arts - An American Renaissance period which ran from 1885 to the 1920s. Ornament and facades were featured in limestone, buff-colored or yellow brick, and accented with enormous cartouches and sculptural ornamental works.The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago was a showcase of Beaux arts. The style emphasized classical (Greek) forms and styles, elaborate detailing, massive plans, heavy masonry. Mostly used for grand public and institutional buildings, and the private homes of America's industrial barons.
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Bed-mould -Any single or combination of mouldings under the projecting part of a cornice.
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BELLCAST -an eave or roof that flares out like the flare of a bell.

bellcot - a small framework and shelter for one or more bells, supported on brackets projecting from a wall or built on the roof of chapels or churches which have no towers. Some Bellcots are freestanding.
bellcot

BELT COURSE - decorative horizontal band on building, usually composed of projecting and/or contrasting stone or brick.

Belvedere -Belle vedere means beautiful view in Italian. A belvedere is an architectural feature on a roof, in a garden, or on a terrace, that affords a beautiful view.
belvedere

Bionic architecture - a movement for the design and construction of expressive buildings whose layout and lines borrow from natural forms.

Blobitecture - or blob architecture is a term for a current movement in architecture in which buildings have an organic, amoeba-shaped, bulging form.

Board and Batten - Vertical wood siding where wood strips (battens) overlay and hide the open seams where the wall boards are joined. board and batten

Bolection - A moulding which projects beyond the face of a panel or frame. The molding used to trim panels in doors, wainscot, or any other frame panel situation. Particularly used to describe fireplace moldings.

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Bridging - Wood or metal strips nailed diagonally between floor joists. Prevents squeaking of floors. Bridging

Bullseye window An oval window set horizontally set horizonally as a dormer.

BUTTRESS-a vertical structure of heavy masonry or wood applied as reinforcement to the wall of a building. Can serve a structural or decorative purpose.
buttress


C
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Cable rope - A carved molding in stone or wood that looks like rope. Cable rope molding

calendar house - A calendar house symbolically represents the numbers of days in a week, and weeks and months in a year with architectural elements.
These are very rare. The
Knole home, built between 1456 and 1486, situated close to Sevenoaks in north-west Kent, is reputed to be a calendar house, having 365 rooms, 52 staircases and 7 courtyards.
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CAMPANILE- Bell tower originating in Italy and and developed into the tower section of the Italianate style. Favoured in Canadian villas in the mid 19th century.Italinate campanile

Cantilever- Cantilever construction allows for long structures without external bracing. Such as second story porchs, decks, even rooms. cantilever
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carcase floor-a regional term and perhaps unique to Virginia was the framing of the great-room floor, which had girders running from north to south, with smaller perpendicular members above and below them.
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Cartouche- a cartouche is an oblong enclosure with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name.In heraldry, an oval-shaped shield, used to display the arms of women as an alternative to the lozenge. It is also often used for the arms of clergy who wish to avoid the military implications of the escutcheon.

Casement Window- A window that opens by swinging inward or outward much like a door. Casement windows are usually rectangular with the height being greater than the width. Casements were made popular in the arts and crafts movement and used extensively in Frank Loyd Wright designs. Thet are often grouped in ribbon bands bands. casement window
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Cathedral - The term cathedral refers to the function of a church, not its architectural style. A cathedral is a church that serves as a bishop’s headquarters, so to speak. It’s called a cathedral because it contains his cathedra (chair). The city in which the cathedral is located is the bishop’s see. In this usage, the word see comes from a Latin word meaning seat. The city is the bishop’s see in the sense that a city might be the seat of government.

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cement board- A concrete board that is placed on a subsurface such as bathroom and kitchen counters and backslashes. Tile or aother finished materials are then glued or mortered to it. Cement board resists shifting and is impervious to water.
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Chair rail- A wooden molding placed horizontally on a wall to prevent chairs from damaging the wall. Typically used as a decorative effect on a wall to divide a painted lower section from a wallpapered upper section. Chair rail

CHIMNEY STACK- the structure in stone. block, or brick, containing flues and rising above the roof.

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Cladding- The outer skin of a building. A term used to describe the siding or materials covering the exterior of a building.
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Clapboard-Also known as bevel siding or lap siding. Clapboards are particularly characteristic of the United States, having been steadily used since the earliest years of the colonial settlements. Each clapboard overlaps the one below it, usually leaving 4-7 inches exposed to the weather. White pine is considered the best wood for clapboards; cedar, cypress, and spruce are also used.
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Clerestory-An upper portion of a wall containing windows for supplying natural light to a building.

classic column- The Maison Carrée at Nîmes in southern France, is one of the best preserved temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire. six Corinthian columns.
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Chamfer- A beveled edge usually at 45 degree to the face.

Chatri- A domed pavilion supported by columns at each corner Chatri
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Cloud lift-A decorative motif developed and used extensively by Greene and Greene. Cloud lift
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Cloister- A covered walk with an open colonnade on one side, running along the walls of buildings that face a quadrangle.

Coffer- A rectangular or square recessed area in a ceiling. Sometimes these emphasize the roof beams; other times they are carved, molded, or ornately decorated.cofferef ceiling

Collar Beam- a horizontal piece of timber connecting and tying together two opposite rafters. Commonly used as a ceiling joist. Collar Beam
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COLONNADE-a row of columns usually supporting the base of the roof structure Collonnade

column-A supporting pillar consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital.There are three basic column styles for single-family homes, derived from ancient Greek architecture. The Doric column Doric is the oldest and simplest Greek style--its found on the Parthenon in Athens. This column features fluted sides, a smooth rounded top, or capital, and no separate base.Ionic columns are identified by the scroll-shaped ornaments at the capital, which resemble a ram’s horns.
The IonicIonic column rests on a rounded base.Corinthian columns are the latest of the three Greek styles and show the influence of Egyptian columns in their capitals, which are shaped like inverted bells. Capitals are also decorated with olive, laurel, or acanthus leaves.
Corinthian corinthiancolumns rest on a base similar to that of the Ionic style
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Coping- A flat cover of stone or brick that protects the top of a wall
coping

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Cornice- Any crowning projection, interior or exterior.A molding at the corner between the ceiling and the top of a wall.

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CRACKLING - A painted finishing technique. Creates an aged effect.

Crocket - an architectural ornament, usually in the form of a cusp or curling leaf, used at the edge of a spire, pinnacles and gables.
crown molding

Crown molding- To form the crown, top, or chief ornament of. Crown molding is typically applied along the seams where a ceiling meets wall. It includes a large family of moldings which are designed to gracefully flare out to a finished top edge; generally used for capping walls, pilasters, cabinets; used extensively in the creation of interior and exterior cornice assemblies and door and window hoods.
crown molding

Cross Gable- Two perpendicular gable roofs
cross gable

CUPOLA- small structure on top of a roof or dome, sometimes with windows, sometimes with horizontal shutter lattice and used as a vent.
cupola


D
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Deconstructivism- also Deconstruction, is an approach to building design that attempts to view architecture in bits and pieces. The basic elements of architecture are dismantled. Deconstructivist buildings may seem to have no visual logic. They may appear to be made up of unrelated, disharmonious abstract forms.

DECOUPAGE- Decoupage, derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out,is the creative art of pasting, assembling and varnishing paper cutouts for accenting objects.

Dentil molding- A small rectangular block - a tooth-like cube -used in a series forming a molding Dentil molding

Doric - The earliest and simplest of the orders of architecture developed by the Greeks and iderntified by its columns and architrave. doric column

DORMER- A gabled, but sometimes a shedded projection extending from the slope of a roof. Usually has a window(s) and is usued to allow light to an attic or rooms. Dormer

Dovecote- A compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, for housing domesticated pigeons.Dovecote

Drip moulding- a projecting moulding, usually above a window or door, that is designed to allow rainwater to "drip".

Dripstone- A projecting string, hood, or molding over doorways, arches, windows, and niches, first installed to direct rainwater away from the opening. Dripstones can be very ornate. Dripstone


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E
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EAVE- The underside of the roof overhang.
Conceptually it refers to the part of a sloping roof that overhangs the wall including the facia board(if any)and the soffit. Eave ie: craftsman bungalows have very wide eaves with decorative brackets.

engaged column - a column embedded in a wall and partly projecting from the surface of the wall, sometimes defined as semi or three-quarter detached. Rarely found in classical Greek architecture but frequently in Roman architecture.
Engaged columns are distinct from pilasters, which are ornamental and not structural.

entasis- slight convex curve applied to columns in Classical architecture to counter the illusion that would otherwise occur of the columns being slightly concave.

Eyebrow dormer - The common function of an eyebrow dormer is to admit light and air to an unfinished attic. Eyebrow Dormer

Eyebrow eave - On a shingled roof, an eave that is carried over a door entry in a wavy line very similar to the eyebrow dormer.

Expressionist architecture -paralleling the expressionist visual and performing arts during the first decades of the 20th century, expressionistic architecture is the concept of architecture as a work of art. Some of the qualities of the original movement are distortion, fragmentation or the communication of violent or overstressed emotion. These are communicated in architecture as unusual combinations of mass, angular definitions, and even polymorphic structure.

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F

Facia- The horizontal board that covers the end cuts of the rafters and which is overlapped buy the roofing. The board to which guttering is fitted. Fascia is a term which generally describes any vertical surface which spans across the top of columns or across the top of a wall. Facia

FENESTRATION- The arrangement of windows.

Finial- a vertical ornament usually applied to the peak of dormer The finial is an architectural ornament used to emphasise the apex of a gable. Smaller sized finials are used as a decorative ornament on the ends of curtain rods or applied to chairs and furniture. Frequently used on top of bed posts or clocks. Finial

Fish Scale Shingles -On Victorian and Queen Anne buildings, fish scale shingles were used extensively as a finishing element. These are generally wood and are most frequently found on the gable or upper section of the buildings. fish scale shingles

Felt Paper - A black building paper used to cover roof boards and sheathing to help control moisture and wind infiltration. Also used to cover the subfloor before hardwood flooring.

Filligree- In architecture it may be said to consist of the art of curling, twisting, or creating the effect of the same, with wood in a decorative effect. Small and/or large beads or geometric shaped woods are often applied on the junctions, or at intervals at which they will set off the work effectively. The more delicate work is generally built in frameworks and used in interior archways as fretwork.

fleur-de-lys- Fleur-de-lis is literally translated from French as "lily flower", It has consistently been used as a royal emblem, is common to all eras and all civilizations.fleur-de-lys

Flying buttress- a structural feature employed to transmit the thrust of a vault across an intervening space, such as an aisle, chapel or cloister, to a buttress built outside the latter. The employment of the flying buttress meant that the rules regarding load bearing walls could be expanded, thus allowing for great flexibility in design and purpose.
Flying Butress

Framing-The structural wooden or steel members, or the act of building, that provide structure and definition to a house or building.

Fractable-A decorated gable end carried above the roofline. A fractal is generally "a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be subdivided in parts, each of which is approximately a reduced-size copy of the whole
Fractable

FRENCH WINDOW-A window that opens to the floor in two hinged parts.Click to enlarge imagefrench window

Fret-A wall or cornice decoration that is formed by small fillets intersecting each other at right angles.
Fret

fretwork spandrels- Decorative pieces made with intricate cutwork and joined with Ball & Dowel or Spindle sections.
Fretwork spandrels

Ornate classical Frieze

FRONTISPIECE-The principal bay of a building. In architecture, a frontispiece constitutes the elements that frame and decorate the main, or front, door to a building; especially when the main entrance is the chief face of the building, rather than being kept behind columns or a portico.

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Gabled roof- Gable: That part of the wall immediately under the end of a pitched roof, cut into a triangular shape by the sloping sides of the roof A pitched roof having a gable at each end

GadrooningIt is derived from the French word 'godron', which means 'ruffle'.
In furniture and other interior accessories, the term applies to an ornamental carved band of tapered, curving and alternating concave and convex sections usually diverging from either side of a central point. often with rounded ends vaguely reminiscent of flower petals. It was widely used during the Italian Renaissance. gadrooning gadrooning
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Gallows bracket- A rather simple bracing bracket that is quite commonly used. Gallows brace

Gambrel- A roof where each side has two slopes; a steeper lower slope and a flatter upper one; a 'barn roof'. Often found in Colonial revival houses in the "Dutch" style.
double gambrel gambrel

Georgian architecture-the architectural period between 1720 and 1840. It was concurrent with the British monarchs George I-IV, who reigned in continuous succession from August 1714 to June 1830.

gingerbread- a word to describe any kind of decoration on a home found in such places as the gables, vergeboards, porches, eaves, and around windows or doors. Made famous by the Victorian era.
gingerbread

Girder - A strong, wooden or metal member spanning foundation walls designed to support joist ends. Steel girders often have an I beam cross section for strength. Girder is the term used to denote the main horizontal support of a structure and usually supports smaller beams.
GirderSteel girder

H
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hammer-beam roof- a Gothic open timber roof, of which the finest example is that over Westminster Hall.
Hammerbeam

Header- a framing member crossing and supporting the ends of joists, studs, or rafters so as to transfer their weight to parallel joists, studs, or rafters. Found over doors and windows. header - a brick that is laid sideways at the top of a wall

high-density polyurethane- rigid foam can be made with the use of specialty trimerization catalysts which create cyclic structures within the foam matrix, giving a harder, more thermally stable structure, designated as polyisocyanurate foams. Such properties are desired in rigid foam products used in the construction sector.(Wikipedia-Polyurethane)

Hyphen - a connecting piece between two larger masses of a building. It's most commonly used when referring to Colonial-era houses - especially the Georgian style. The masses connected to the main house by the hyphens are called dependencies.federal column
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Inlay -in which the secondary material is sunk into portions of a solid ground cut out to receive it.
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I
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infill - any material used to fill a void in a structure. For ex. glass panels used as an infill between timber posts.
wattle and daub was probably the original infill.
Also used in Urbanism as the reclamation of unused land, particularly the reuse and redevelopment of low use property within an existing community or development.
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Inglenook - A bench, especially either of two facing benches, placed in a nook or corner beside a fireplace.

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intercolumniation - in classical architecture, the clear space between the edges of two adjacent columns, as measured at the lower portion of their shafts. Intercolumniation is expressed in terms of the column diameter.
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Ionic Order - The second of the three Greek architectural orders to be developed. Ionic columns are generally more tall and slender than those of the Doric. The spiral scrolls, or volutes, at either side of the cap run from front to rear, and an echinus molding with egg-and-dart ornamentation occupies the space between them. Ionic columns incorporate a column base, and volutes can be seen in their capitals. Ionic order column

J
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Jenkins-head roof - A gabled roof with its apex truncated by a small hipped roof.
Jenkins-head roof

K
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Keystone- The upper most and last set stone in an arch, which completes and "locks" the construction.

L
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Lally column- A lally column is a round, steel pipe oriented vertically to provide support to beams or timbers stretching over long spans. They are typically positioned in the middle of the span to bear the weight of the structure, and to reduce sag or flex. The column is usually filled with concrete to provide additional rigidity and strength. Smaller adjustable columns can almost always be found in the basement residential buildings and homesLally column

LANCET window - a sharply pointed Gothic arch or window. A lancet window is a tall narrow window with a pointed arch at its top acquirits name because of its resemblence to a lance [2]. Most often found in Gothic and ecclesiastical structures may be placed singularly or in pairs. Often with stained glass inserts. Lancet window

Lantern - A small turret with openings or windows all around, crowning a roof peak or dome. A tower or small turret with windows or openings for light and air, crowning a dome or cupola. Lantern

Lean-to - Referring to an addition to the rear of a structure with a shed roof (single-slope). Lean-to

Lintel- a horizontal structural member at the top of a window or door that carries the load. Lintel

Live Load - The weight of people, things and materials that are not always present at the same place in a building. Live loads are generally moving and/or dynamic or environmental, (e.g., people, installation equipment, wind, snow, ice or rain, etc.).

loggia- An open-sided, roofed or vaulted gallery, either free-standing or along the front or side of a building, often at an upper level. Loggia

Lozenge- a. A four-sided planar figure with a diamondlike shape; a rhombus that is not a square. Lozenge
Quite often used in heraldic crest designs.

Lunette-A lunette is a half-moon shaped space, either masonry or void. A lunette is formed when a horizontal cornice transects a round-headed arch at the level of the imposts, where the arch springs. If a door is set within a round-headed arch, the space within the arch above the door, masonry or glass, is a lunette. If the door is a major access, and the lunette above is massive and deeply set, it may be called a tympanum.

A lunette may also be segmental, and the arch may be an arc taken from an oval. The spaces are still lunettes.

A lunette is commonly called a half-moon window, when the space is used as a window.

M
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Marble - Marble is a metamorphic rock resulting from the metamorphism of limestone, composed mostly of calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3).
Used for sculpture, as a building material, and in many other applications, The word "marble" is often used to refer to many other stones that are capable of taking a high polish.
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Masonary bond - A bond is the patterned arrangement of brick or stone in a wall. alt="Masonary bond">

Masonary course - Setting a course means to arrange in a row. A row of bricks, when laid in a wall, is called a course. It is a continuous level range or row of brick or masonry throughout the face or faces of a building.

millwright -a workman who designs or erects mills and milling machinery.Derived from the trade of carpentry, a millwright originally was a specialised carpenter in flour mills who had working knowledge of gear ratios, driveshaft speeds, and other equations. Todays millwright maintains or constructs industrial machinery such as that which would be related to assembly lines, also pumps, valves, printing presses, etc.
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modillion (1)An ornamental bracket used in series under a cornice, especially a cornice of the Corinthian, Composite, or Ionic orders. (2)Blocks or brackets placed in a series on the underside of a cornice. A modillion is a bracket whose horizontal side is longer than the vertical.

MullionMullion a. A vertical member, as of stone or wood, dividing a window or other opening.
b. A vertical strip(s) dividing a window into panes, or the panels of a screen.

N
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nave - the main body of a church or cathedral. Sometimes defined as the central aisle only.

Niche- A wall recess traditionally used to display a sculpture or ornamental object.

Nosing - The rounded leading-edge of a stair tread.

O
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Ogee Arch Ogee Arch- a double curve or 'S' curve.

Onyx - Onyx is a finely crystalline form of quartz. The colors of its bands range from white to almost every color.

Oriel window Oriel window- projecting or bay window in an upper story, supported on brackets, corbels, or an engaged column, usually curved but can be square. It is most characteristic of the late medieval and early Renaissance period in England, but is also found in France and Germany during the same period. The term is often loosely but incorrectly applied to any bay window.

Oriented strand boardalso called OSB, is an engineered wood product, usually in panels, formed by layering strands (flakes) of wood in specific orientations. In appearance it has a rough and variegated surface with the individual strips (around 2.5 by 15 cm each) lying unevenly across each other in the direction of their grain. OSB panels have no internal gaps or voids, and are water-resistant. The most common uses are as sheathing in walls, floors, and roofs.
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Orthogonal angles- The term is used to describe lines that appear at 90 degree angles to each other. It is also used to describe conditions that are contradictory, rather than in parallel or in sync with each other. In mathematics, orthogonal is a generalization of perpendicular. From the Greek it means 'straight' and 'at angle'. In recent years, "perpendicular" has come to be used more in relation to right triangles and "orthogonal" is used when discussing vectors or coordinate geometry. In art it is the perspective imagined lines pointing to the vanishing point are referred to as 'orthogonal lines'.

overmantel - Area above the shelf on a mantelpiece, often consisting of a mirror in an ornate frame, or some architectural feature in wood or stone. A decorative feature or panel above a fireplace surround.

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P
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Palladism-referring to the style of architecture created by Andrea Palladio which featured archs and columns.
Palladism

Patina process- to make something look old.
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Pavillion-1. An ornate tent. 2. A light, sometimes ornamental roofed structure, used for amusement or shelter, as at parks or fairs:
Pavillion

Palladian window-referring to the style of architecture created by Andrea Palladio which featured archs and columns.
Palladian window The architecturaldictionary

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Pebble dash- Flat stucco embedded with pebbles for a texture effect
Pebble dash

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Parquet Floor- Parquetry is a mosaic of wood used for ornamental flooring usually laid to form geometric patterns.

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Pent roof

Pentice- a sloping roof built on to another building. Like a short shed roof over a side door.
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Pergola

Pier - A vertical, non-circular masonry support, more massive than a column.

Pilaster

Pitch- The rate at which a roof or other surface slopes.

Plate - The 2x4 nailed along the top edge of all stud walls. A plate also is secured to the top of all solid brick or masonry walls.

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Plate Tracery- Alternating white and brown bricks found around the rounded arch windows.
Plate tracery

Pocket door- A door which slides open into cavities within walls.

Postmodernism- Postmodernism in architecture is thought to be the reaction to the modernist architectural movement known as the International Style. It is represented by a collage of styles, historical reference in surface ornamentation, urban architecture, and obtuse or acute angles.Classic examples of modern residential architecture are of Frank Lloyd Wright or the Bauhaus movement. Postmodernism favors personal preferences and variety over objective, ultimate truths or principles.

powder coated steel - Powder coating is a type of dry coating, which is applied as a free-flowing, dry powder.The coating is applied electrostatically and then cured under heat to allow it to flow and form a "skin." Tougher than conventional paint, powder coating is mainly used for the coating of metals.

pulvinated frieze or pulvino is convex in section. Such friezes were features of 16th-century Northern Mannerism and much used in interior architecture and in furniture.
Is most often found in the Ionic order of Classical decoration. Its surface treatment may be plain or ornately carved.
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Q
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RETURN- the part of a molding or pattern that continues around a corner. return

Rise - In stairbuilding it is the vertical distance from one stair tread to the next.

Riser - The vertical portion of a step. The board covering the open space between stair treads.
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Roof Pitch - Degree of roof slant stated in inches rise per foot.

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Rough Opening - When framing it is the opening required to allow doors and windows to be installed.

Rough Sill - When framing it is the the bottom rail of a window rough opening.

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Rubble masonary - Masonry construction using stones of irregular shape and size.

Rusticated Stone masonary - Masonary stonework having the joints deeply sunk and oughly finished.

S
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saltbox - A type of wood-frame building, one-and-a-half or two stories in the front and one story in the rear. The double-pitched roof is short in the front and long in the rear, extending close to the ground. saltbox.jpg

Sash - The window unit (comprised of rails, stiles, lites, muntins) that fits inside the window frame.

SECOND EMPIRE -a style of architecture where the structure has a mansard roof, usually there are bonneted dormers in the curved section of the roof. It may be extravagantly ornate. .Second empire

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Scuttle- An opening in the ceiling leading to an unfinished half-story. Often used for any opening to an attic.

Sheathing- A covering over the structural frame of a building, onto which the cladding is attached. Typically 1/2"plywood it provides diagonal bracing to stabilize walls as well as a solid foundation for siding.

Sidelights- Windows on either side of a door.
The architecturaldictionary

Siding - The finished covering on the outside of non masonry walls of houses and buildings. Shingles, wood siding, aluminum siding, vinyl siding, stucco, etc.

Sleepers- Joist set in concrete to provide nailing strips for flooring.

Smoke Chambers - The are immediately above the damper and smoke shelf of a fireplace in the chimney.
The architecturaldictionary

Smoke Shelf- A shelf at the base of the smoke chamber that provides proper smoke circulation within this chamber above the fireplace in the chimney.

Square-A unit of measure equal to 100 square feet. The 'square foot', and 'square yard' are measurements used by many tradesmen.

squinch-A device by which a round dome or drum is supported on a square or polygonal base. The squinch helps transition the weight of the drum or dome to the walls of the square or polygon. a small arch built across the interior angle of two walls (usually to support a spire)
The architecturaldictionary

Stairwell- The area that is used by a stairway system. Sometimes it may be an enclosed area and sometimes may not.
The architecturaldictionary

The architecturaldictionary

Structuralism -Structuralism focused on the way that human behavior is determined by various structures.

stylobate-In classical Greek architecture it is the flat pavement, or floor of the building, on which the columns are placed.

spandrel-A spandrel is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure. relating to the space between a curved figure and a rectangular boundary- such as the space between the curve of an arch and a rectilinear bounding moulding, or the space between the central medallion of a carpet and its rectangular corners, or the space between the circular face of a clock and the corners of the square revealed by its hood. Also included is the space under a flight of stairs. Spandrel

Spire- The pyramidal structure soaring from a tower or roof of a church. spire

strapwork- Decorative work, popular in northern Europe in the 16th and early 17th centuries, consisting of interlacing straplike bands, often used in low relief on ceilings, screens, and panels.
Any type of ornament consisting of narrow fillets or bands that are folded, crossed, or interlaced.strapwork
Interlacing decorative bands found within gables; especially found in Tudor architecture and Tudor Revival, as well as in northern Europe.
The architecturaldictionary

surbase-A board or group of moldings running round a room on a level with the tops of the chair backs.
The architecturaldictionary

T
The architecturaldictionary

TORUS - Convex, semi-circular molding, larger than an astrigal, often at the base of a column, which may be enriched with leaves or plaiting.tracery

Tracery- Developed mainly in British cathedrals and developed by the French into curvilinear tracery of free, flowing curves. Found in Gothic architecture tracery is constructed of net-like decorations around upper windowsOrnamental work of interlaced and branching lines.
tracery

Transom- A window above a door. Originally a tilting sash above a door used for room ventilation. Usually any fixed sash above an entry door.
Transom

trefoils- a term in Gothic architecture given to the ornamental foliation or cusping introduced in the heads of window-lights, tracery, panellings, etc., in which the center takes the form of a three-lobed leaf (formed from three partially-overlapping circles).
Trefoils

TREILLAGE- latticework used to support climbing plants. Usually called a trellis.

U
The architecturaldictionary

V
The architecturaldictionary

Vernacular architecture- Architecture that is characteristic of an architectural period, a geographic area, or ethnic group.

Vergeboard- The ornament of woodwork upon the gable of a house. Another name for bargeboard

Villa- pretentious and luxurious country residence with extensive grounds country house. - A country house in ancient Rome consisting of residential quarters and farm buildings around a courtyard country house.villa

VERDIGRIS- The common name for the green coating or patina formed when copper, brass or bronze is weathered and exposed to air or seawater over a period of time. A finishing technique used for creating the illusion of distressed metal or oxidized copper.

Vernacular architecture-a term used to describe construction which uses locally available resources. The term is often used as a discription of unrefined construction.

Volute- A volute is a spiral scroll-like ornament that forms the basis of the Ionic order. It is found in the capital of the Ionic column. It was later incorporated into Corinthian order and Composite column capitals. Smaller versions, called helix, are on the Corinthian capital. img SRC="http://www.fine-woodworking-for-your-home.com/images/Volute.jpg"align="middle"hspace="10"vspace="10" alt="Volute">

Vouissoir- one of the wedge-shaped pieces forming an arch or vault. A mason's term borrowed in Middle English from French verbs connoting a "turn", each wedge-shaped voussoir turns aside the thrust of the mass above, transferring it from stone to stone to the final edge, which is horizontal and passes the thrust to the supports.

Though each unit in an arch or vault is known as a voussoir, there are two specific voussoir components of an arch: the keystone and the springer. The keystone is the center stone or masonry unit at the apex of an arch. Often decorated, embellished or exaggerated in size, no true arching action occurs until this unit is in place. The springer is the lowermost voussoir, located where the curve of the arch springs from the vertical support of wall or pier.  voussoir

Volute-A carved whirl or twist that takes the form of a scroll as in the capital of Ionic columns. Also called a helix, this form is found in Baroque ornament, late Renaissance and Art Nouveau. Volute

W
The architecturaldictionary

WAINSCOT- Wood paneling or boards part way up a wall from the floor.

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