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Architectural Vocabulary

  • Date Submitted: 08/09/2010 07:52 AM
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Architectural Vocabulary
ABACUS A plain square slab forming the topmost member of a capital.
ACANTHUS A plant with thick, fleshy leaves used as a model for carved ornament on Corinthian capitals.
AESTHETICS The study of what is beautiful; in architecture, beauty as perceived by the senses and emotions.
AGORA An open-air market or meeting place in a Greek town.
APSE A semi-circular area at the east end of a church, which originally contained an altar.
APTERAL A classical style building with columns on the end, but not on the sides.
AQUEDUCT A structure, in the form of a channel or bridge, used by the Romans to transport water.
ARABESQUE Surface decorations using intricate flowing lines and geometric patterns.
ARCADE A group of arches on columns or pillars, which are either free- standing or attached to a wall.
ARCH A curved structure composed of wedge-shaped elements, used to span an opening.
ARCHITRAVE The lowest member of the entablature, which, as a beam, extends from column to column.
ARCUATED Construction employing the arch form.
ASTYLAR A term used to describe a facade without columns.
ATRIUM An inner court open to the sky, but surrounded by a roof.
BALDACCHINO A free-standing canopy supported by columns symbolically sheltering an altar, throne, or tomb.
BAPTISTERY A building used for baptismal services.
BASE The lowest part of a structure.
BASILICA In Roman architecture, an oblong building used for public administration, from which Early Christian churches evolved.
BATTER The inclined face of a wall.
BAY The unit of space between the supporting columns of a building.
BEMA The raised stage used by the clergy in Early Christian churches.
BOSS An ornamental knob covering the intersection of ribs in a vault or ceiling.
BRACKET A small projecting member used to support a weight.
BRISE-SOLEIL A permanent sun shield covering the windows of a building.
BUTTRESS A mass of masonry built against a wall to provide additional strength....


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