Architectual Terminology

By: Emily Pridgen

Arch

A curved structure that is above a doorway or an opening and is supported at the sides or the ends.
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Chair Rail

Horizontal moulding on the wall about 3-4 feet from the floor and it is meant to protect the wall from the backs of the chairs.
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Column Capital

The top part of a column that joins with whatever it is supporting.
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Dormer

A structure projecting from a sloping roof usually housing a vertical window.
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Fanlight

A window above a door, usually semicircular or semielliptical, with glazing bars radiating out like a fan
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Fluting

Shallow vertical grooves on the shaft of a column.
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Masonry

Includes all stone products, all brick products and all concrete block units, including decorative and customized blocks.
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Parapet

A low guarding wall at any point of sudden drop, as at the edge of a terrace, roof, balcony, etc.
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Pilaster

A shallow rectangular column projecting only slightly from a wall
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Portico

A roofed entrance porch supported on at least one side by columns
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Roof

The external upper covering of a building, including the frame for supporting the roofing.
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Stucco

It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture.
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Wainscot

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

A projection from a vertical surface providng structural or visual support under corncies, balconies, or any other overhanging member
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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.
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Corbel

A projecting bracket of stone, brick, etc which supports a cornice, arch, or oriel
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Eaves

That part of a sloping roof that overhangs the wall
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Finial

An ornament on top of a peak of an arch or arched structure, e.g. a spire, pinnacle or a gable
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Frieze

Any sculptured or richly ornamented band in a building
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Molding

A decorative strip used for ornamentation or finishing
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Pediment

A triangular gable across a portico, door or window; any similar triangular decorative piece over a doorway, fireplace, etc.
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Pillar

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

The dressed stones at the corners of buildings usually laid so their faces are alternately large and small

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Sill

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

A building or part of a building that is exceptionally high in proportion to its width and length
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Buttress

A structure, usually brick or stone, built against a wall for support or reinforcement to resist the pressure of a arch or vault
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Column

A supporting pillar consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital
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Cupola

A dome, usually small, topping a roof or turret
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Facade

The exterior face of a building which is the architectural front
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Floor Plan

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

A supporting wood or stone beam across the top of an opening, such as that of a window or door or fireplace
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Mullions

A vertical member separating (and often supporting) window, doors, or panels set in series
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Pendant

A hanging ornament used in vaults and timber roofs of Gothic architecture
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Porch

A covered platform, usually having a separate roof, at an entrance to a building
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Rafters

any of a series of small, parallel beams for supporting the sheathing and covering of a pitched roof.
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Stoop

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

a window or pane above a door, whether rectangular or arched
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