Architectural Terminology

Kamryn Higdem

Arch

A curved symmetrical structure spanning an opening and typically supporting the weight of a bridge, roof, or wall above it.

Chair rail

A molding on a wall around a room to protect the wall from being damaged by the backs of chairs.

Column capital

In architecture the capital forms the topmost member of a column.

Dormer

A window that project vertically from a sloping roof.

Fanlight

A small semicircular or rectangular window over a door or another window.

Fluting

A groove or set of grooves forming a surface decoration.

Masonry

Stonework.

Parapet

A low protective wall along the edge of a roof, bridge, or balcony.

Pilaster

A rectangular column, especially one projecting from a wall.

Portico

A structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically attached as a porch to a building.

Roof

The structure forming the upper covering of a building.

Stucco

Fine plaster used for coating wall surfaces or molding into architectural decorations.

Wainscot

An area of wooden paneling on the lower part of the walls of a room.

Brackets

Holds or attaches something by a right angle support.

Chimney

A vertical channel or pipe that conducts smoke and combustion gases up from a fire or furnace and typically through the roof of a building.

Corbel

A projection jutting out from a wall to support a structure above it.

Eaves

The part of a roof that meets or overhangs the walls of a building.

Finial

A distinctive ornament at the apex of a roof, pinnacle, canopy, or similar structure in a building.

Frieze

A broad horizontal band of sculpted or painted decoration, especially on a wall near the ceiling.

Molding

An ornamentally shaped outline as an architectural feature, especially in a cornice.

Pediment

The triangular upper part of the front of a building in classical style, typically surmounting a portico of columns.

Pillar

A tall vertical structure of stone, wood, or metal, used as a support for a building, or as an ornament or monument.

Quoins

An external angle of a wall or building.

Sill

A shelf or slab of stone, wood, or metal at the foot of a window or doorway.

Tower

A tall narrow building, either freestanding or forming part of a building such as a church or castle.

Buttress

A projecting support of stone or brick built against a wall.

Column

An upright pillar, typically cylindrical and made of stone or concrete, supporting an entablature, arch, or other structure or standing alone as a monument.

Cupola

A small dome, especially a small dome on a drum on top of a larger dome, adorning a roof or ceiling.

Facade

The face of a building, especially the principal front that looks onto a street or open space.

Floor plan

A scale diagram of the arrangement of rooms in one story of a building.

Lintel

A horizontal support of timber, stone, concrete, or steel across the top of a door or window.

Mullions

A vertical bar between the panes of glass in a window.

Porch

A covered shelter projecting in front of the entrance of a building.

Rafters

One of several internal beams extending from the eaves to the peak of a roof and constituting its framework.

Stoop

A porch with steps in front of a house or other building.

Transom light

A crosspiece separating a door or the like from a window or fanlight above it.