Architectural Terminology

Sydney McNabb

Arch

a curved masonry construction for spanning an opening, consistingof a number of wedgelike stones, bricks, or the like, set with the narrower side toward the opening in such a way that forces on the arch are transmitted as vertical or oblique stresses on either side ofthe opening.

Brackets

any horizontally projecting support for an overhanging weight, as acorbel, cantilever, or console.

Buttress

any external prop or support built to steady a structure by opposing its outward thrusts, especially a projecting support built into or against the outside of a masonry wall.

Chair Rail

a molding on an interior wall for preventing the backs of chairs from rubbing against plaster.

Chimney

a structure, usually vertical, containing a passage or flue by which the smoke, gases, etc., of a fire or furnace are carried off and by means of which a draft is created.

Column

a decorative pillar, most often composed of stone and typicallyhaving a cylindrical or polygonal shaft with a capital and usually abase.

Column Capital

forms the topmost member of a column.

Corbel

any bracket, especially one of brick or stone, usually of slight extent.

Cupola

a light structure on a dome or roof, serving as a belfry, lantern, or belvedere.

Dormer

a vertical window in a projection built out from a sloping roof.

Eaves

the overhanging lower edge of a roof.

Façade

the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.

Fanlight

a window over a door or another window, especially one having the form of a semicircle or of half an ellipse.

Finial

a relatively small, ornamental, terminal feature at the top of a gable, pinnacle, etc.

Floor Plan

a diagram of one room, apartment, or entire floor of a building, usually drawn to scale.

Fluting

something having ornamental grooves, as a Greek column.

Frieze

any decorative band on an outside wall, broader than a stringcourse and bearing lettering, sculpture, etc.

Lintel

a horizontal architectural member supporting the weight above an opening, as a window or a door.

Masonry

work constructed by a mason, especially stonework.

Molding

any of various long, narrow, ornamental surfaces that are either continuous or discontinuous, with uniform cross sections for the fulllength and a strikingly modeled profile that casts strong shadows.

Mullions

a vertical member, as of stone or wood, between the lights of a window, the panels in wainscoting, or the like.

Parapet

any low protective wall or barrier at the edge of a balcony, roof, bridge, or the like.

Pediment

a low gable, typically triangular with a horizontal cornice and raking cornices, surmounting a colonnade, an end wall, or a major division of a façade.

Pendant

an ornament suspended from a roof, vault, or ceiling.

Pilaster

a shallow rectangular feature projecting from a wall, having a capital and base and usually imitating the form of a column.

Pillar

an upright shaft or structure, of stone, brick, or other material, relatively slender in proportion to its height, and of any shape insection, used as a building support, or standing alone, as for a monument.

Porch

an exterior appendage to a building, forming a covered approach or vestibule to a doorway.

Portico

a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns or piers, usually attached to a building as a porch.

Quoins

an external angle of a wall or building.

Rafters

any of a series of timbers or the like, usually having a pronounced slope, for supporting the sheathing and covering of a roof.

Roof

the external upper covering of a house or other building.

Sill

a horizontal timber, block, or the like serving as a foundation of a wall, house, window, etc.

Stoop

a small staircase ending in a platform and leading to the entrance of an apartment building or other building.

Stucco

an exterior finish for masonry or frame walls, usually composed of cement, sand, and hydrated lime mixed with water and laid on wet.

Tower

a building or structure high in proportion to its lateral dimensions, either isolated or forming part of a building.

Transom Light

a horizontal crossbar in a window, over a door, or between a door and a window or fanlight above it.

Wainscot

wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls.