Architectural Terminology

Natalie Allen

Arch

A curved structure capable of spanning a space while supporting significant weight.
Big image

Bracket

Ornamental supports, usually of wood or pressed metal, which appear at the cornice line of a building. They may be incised into a scrolled pattern or be more simply molded and are common to all Italianate style buildings, but often appear with other styles as well.

Big image

Buttress

A wall support usually of stone or brick placed at the sides of a building, commonly seen on some Gothic Revival style churches.


Big image

Chair Rail

A chair rail is decorative wooden trim attached horizontally at the approximate height of the back of a straight chair.
Big image

Chimney

Chimneys are usually built of stone or brick (more modern chimneys may be of cinder block) and are located at either the exterior side walls of the building or at the center or interior of the building. Certain vernacular folk building patterns locate the chimney at the center of the house or at the corner.


Big image

Column

A support pillar, usually round, found on porches and as a decorative detail.
Big image

Column Capital

Capitals are the tops of round columns and may be of several distinct types or orders.

Corbel

A decorative use of brick atop the windows, walls or chimney or to create the shape of a bracket or dentil at the top of a building beneath the cornice.


Big image

Cupola

A cupola is a decorative, small, projecting tower at the top of the roof of a building, often square, round or octagonal in shape.


Big image

Dormer

A window opening at the roof level, topped by a front gable or shed roof.


Big image

Eaves

The edge of the roof that overhangs the exterior walls, sometimes with exposed rafters.


Big image

Façade

The face of a building, usually referring to the front.
Big image

Fanilght

A semi-circular (fan shaped) window placed atop a door, commonly seen in Federal and Colonial Revival style buildings.

Big image

Finial

A decorative piece set atop a spire, cupola, gable or gate post.


Big image

Floor Plan

The layout of the various levels of a building, showing the location of rooms, interior walls, chimneys, porches and staircases.
Big image
Big image

Fluting

Fluting is a decorative finish for wooden columns or trim where parallel grooves are carved vertically along the surface.


Big image

Frieze

A frieze is the panel beneath the cornice at the top of a building' exterior wall which is often ornamented with brackets, dentils or modallions.


Big image

Lintel

The flat horizontal piece at the top of a window.
Big image

Masonry

A type of construction using stone, brick, tile or concrete block using mortar.


Big image

Molding

A decorative raised surface along the edge of an architectural feature such as a window, column, door or wall.


Big image

Mullion

The wooden divisions between panes of glass on windows.


Big image

Parapet

A parapet is a low stone or brick wall at the top of a building. A crenelated parapet has rhythmic breaks in the wall to create a pattern of battlements.


Big image

Pediment

A triangular space created by a front facing gable roof, often seen in Classical Revivial style buildings.


Big image

Pendant

An ornamental piece of wood or metal hanging down from a porch, cornice or bracket.


Big image

Pilaster

A pilaster is a narrowly protruding column attached to a wall, giving the illusion of a real free standing support column.


Big image

Pillar

A support column without classical detailing.
Big image

Porch

A roofed space outside the mains support walls of a building.


Big image

Portico

A small entrance porch.
Big image

Quoins

Quoins are decorative rectangles or squares of stone, brick, wood or concrete, placed at the corners of buildings to add architectural interest.


Big image

Rafters

The wooden structural support beams for a roof, sometimes visible on the exterior for certain building types and styles.
Big image

Roofs

Roofs can be steep, flat or gently sloped and take many forms, gable, gambrel, hipped, stepped gable, shed, pent or Mansard. The roof type is an important key to identifying the style of a building.

Sill

The flat horizontal bottom piece of a window or door, often of wood, but sometimes of stone.


Big image

Stoop

The uncovered wide step leading into the front or main door of a building.


Big image

Stucco

A thin coating of plaster applied over exterior walls.
Big image

Tower

A tall structure,either square or round in shape, rising higher than the rest of the building.


Big image

Transom Light

A flat, glass panel above a door, usually multi-paned.
Big image

Wainscot

The wainscot is the wood covered lower portion of an interior wall, usually topped by a chair rail. A wooden wainscot can be plain or paneled with a patten of raised wooden trim.