Buy Any Product Online using Shopify

Architectural Terms, What are architectural terms, Architectural glossary

Architectural Terms speaks to what are architectural terms, architectural glossary and architectural phrases used in the industry.

Below listed is a glossary of terms which provide a definition of the Architectural Terms used on this website presented in alphabetical order.

Acanthus leaf: A stylized Mediterranean leaf form used as a decoration especially for the capitals of Corinthian and Composite orders.

Apse: A semicircular or vaulted end to a church.

Arcade: A series of arches on columns or piers supporting a wall.

Arcuated construction: A construction that is, or appears to be, based upon arches for support.

Architectural Terms

Bakelite: An insulating or facing material manufactured from synthetic resins and resembling opaque glass.

Balustrade: A low rail supported by short posts.

Bay: The vertical divisions in a facade created by the rhythm of the doors and windows.

Bellcast roof: A roof that flares out at the eaves.

Belvedere: Am enclosed structure on the roof intended as a look-out.

Blind arcade: A row of arches applied to a wall as a decorative element.

Board and batten: Wooden sheathing of wide vertical boards placed side by side with narrow strips of wood (battens) covering the joints.

Bracket: a small projecting piece of stone or wood that supports a horizontal member such as the eaves.

Bull’s eye window: A round window also called an oculis.

Buttress: An exterior masonry support built into or against a wall to counter the lateral thrusts of a roof.

Architectural Terms

Cantilever: A horizontal projection balanced by the downward pressure of a vertical member on its pivotal point.

Casement window: A window that is hinged along the vertical edge and opens by swinging either in or out.

Chancel: The part of a church to the liturgical east of the nave or crossing containing the altar also known as the sanctuary.

Clocher: A bell tower or a room near the top of a tower where the bells are rung.

Colonette: A small decorative column.

Colonnade: A row of regularly spaced columns usually supporting entablature and part of a roof.

Column: A tall cylindrical support, traditionally decorated according to one of the ancient orders.

Console: An S curve bracket.

Corbel: A block that projects to support a horizontal member usually the eaves.

Cornice: A projecting moulding that crowns the top of a building and it also forms the upper part on an entablature.

Crenellation: A regular series of gaps in the parapet or low wall running along the top of a wall.

Cresting: Ornamental decoration along the roofline, usually made of iron.

Crocket: A decorative roof ornament, usually in leaf shape commonly found in Gothic Revival architecture.

Cross window: a window whose mullion and transom cross forming four lights and a cross shape.

Cupola: A small dome.

Architectural Terms

Dentil: A small blockusually part of a series of such blocks in the entablature of the classical orders.

Doric: See order.

Drip mouldings: A moulding over a door or window that casts off rain.

Architectural Terms

Ecclesiology: The study of the building style and arrangement of churches, particularly mineteenth century Gothic churches.

Elevation: The face of a building, an architectural drawing of the vertical projection of the face of a building.

English baroque: English classical architecture of the seventeenth and early eighteenth century.

Entablature: The upper horizontal bar or beam resting on the capitals of a classic order, whose parts consist of a cornice, frieze and architrave.

Earred trim: A moulding that frames the top and upper part of a window or door terminating in a short projection.

Architectural Terms

Fanlight: A small semicircular or elliptical window above a door with radiating bars resembling a fan.

Fenestration: The arrangement of windows on a building.

Finial: An ornament at the top of a gable or roofline.

Frieze: a wide band at the top of the order between the architrave and the cornice.

Frontispiece: An ornamental porch.

Architectural Terms

Gambrel: A ridged roof with two slopes on each side.

Giant order: An order that rises the full height of the facade.

Gibbs surround: The surround of a door or window that is composed of alternating large and small blocks of stone.

Glazing bars: The small members that hold the glass in place in a window.

Architectural Terms

Half-timbering: Exposed imitation timer-framing in which the spaces between the frame are filled with rubble or brick and may be painted or plastered.

Hipped roof: Roof with four pitched sides.

Hood moulding: A moulding that projects above a window or door to throw off rainwater.

Ionic: See order.

Architectural Terms

Key pattern: Ornamental design or fretwork of interlacing right angled lines in contrasting patterns of light and dark.

Keystone: The central stone at the apex of an arch of vault.

Label moulding: A square arched moulding that runs along the top and part way down a window or a door.

Lancet: Gothic, narrow pointed window used mainly in churches.

Lintel: A horizontal beam above a window or door that takes the weight of the wall above the opening.

Longhouse: A long structure built of bent poles forming a tunnel shape capable of housing several families.

Mullion: A vertical member in a window that subdivides the window into two or more lights.

Niche: A concave recess in a wall often intended to contain sculpture.

Oculus: A round or oval opening in a wall or at the apex of a dome. Sometimes louvred or glazed, also called a roundel or bull’s eye window.

Ogee: An arch created from a double curve, convex above concave and below.

Order: An arrangement of columns and entablature in classical architecture. Specific styles of columns and detailing are divided into five main categories: Doric, Ioninc< Corinthian (the Greek orders), Tuscan and Composite (the Roman orders).

Oriel: A bay window projecting from an upper storey.

Palladian window: A three part window consisting of a tall centre window, usually round-headed, flanked by two shorter, narrower windows.

Parapet: A low wall at the edge of a roof or balcony.

Pavilion: A subsection of a larger building, usually projecting, sometimes distinguished by a different roof shape or surface treatment usually at the centre or ends of a building.

Pediment: The triangular gable end of a roof usually over an entrance or window, sometimes decorated with sculpture. Variations of the simple triangular form include curved sides or sides broken off at the apex.

Pier: A vertical stone or brick support, usually square or rectangular.

Pilaster: A pillar or pier attached to a wall usually in one of the classical orders.

Plinth: The base of a column, pilaster, door frame or wall resembling a platform.

Portico: A covered porch or walkway supported by columns.

Quoin: A protruding stone or brick that accentuates an exterior corner.

Reinforced concrete: Concrete strengthened by the addition of at least 0.2 percent structural steel.

Rose window: A large circular window with radiating tracery or glazing bars often filled with stained glass.

Rosette: a round motif applied to a wall or as a centre ceiling decoration usually decorated with floral or leaf motifs.

Rustication: Cut stone with textured block faces.

Sidelight: A window beside a door often in flanking pairs.

Sill: The horizontal piece at the bottom of a window frame or the bottom of the door fram resting on the foundation.

Speed-stripes: Horizontal decorative stripes applied to Moderne and Art Deco designs to emphasize the aerodynamic shapes and heighten the sensation of movement and speed.

Stringcourse: A protruding band that runs horizontally along the facade of a building usually between storeys.

Structural steel frame: A building system in which steel members such as girders and beams support the weight of the building.

Terazzo: flooring manufactured from marble chips irregularly set in cement and highly polished.

Tourelle: A turret or small round tower projecting from the upper corner of a wall.

Transom: Strictly refers to a horizontal bar over a window or door but often used to describe a window above a transom bar.

Trefoil: A three lobed cloverleaf pattern.

Tudour arch: A shallow pointed arch ( a four centred arch).

Vault: A covering over an arched area. Varied shapes include, a barrel vault, which is a semicircular or barrel shape, fan vault, Gothic style vault in a concave conical shape, rib vault which is a vault in which the ribs support the web between.

Vernacular building: Building not designed by a professional architect and usually deriving its form and materials from local or inherited tradition.

Voussoirs: Wedge shaped stones or bricks set in an arch often over a window or doorway.

Ziggurat: Refers to the shape of stepped back skyscrapers and derives from Mesopotamian and pre-Columbian temples which rose in stages of successfully diminishing size.

Return from Architectural Terms to Home Page

Return to Atrium Architecture

Hard copy and E book for sale. Introduction to Building Mechanical Systems. Click here.

Hard copy and E book for sale. What's Killing You and What You Can Do About It. A humourous look at ageing and disease. Click here.