Architecture Jargon

Jargon Booth

StoryAisle: Subsidiary space alongside the body of a building, separated from it by columns, piers, or posts
Apse: Vaulted semicircular or polygonal end of a chancel or chapel
Arcade: Passage or walkway covered over by a succession of arches or vaults supported by columns. Blind arcade or arcading: the same applied to the wall surface
Arch: A curved structure capable of spanning a space while supporting significant weight
Architrave: Formalized lintel, the lowest member of the classical entablature. Also the moulded frame of a door or window (often borrowing the profile of a classical architrave)
Arris: Sharp edge where two surfaces meet at an angle
Arrowslit: A thin vertical aperture in a fortification through which an archer can launch arrows
Articulation: Articulation is the manner or method of jointing parts such that each part is clear and distinct in relation to the others, even though joined
Ashlar: Masonry of large blocks cut with even faces and square edges
Atlas: A support sculpted in the form of a man, which may take the place of a column, a pier or a pilaster
Bahut: A small parapet or attic wall bearing the weight of the roof of a cathedral or church
Balconet: A false balcony, or railing at the outer plane of a window
Ball flower: An architectural ornament in the form of a ball inserted in the cup of a flower, which came into use in the latter part of the 13th, and was in great vogue in the early part of the 14th century
Baluster: A Small moulded shaft, square or circular, in stone or wood, sometimes metal, supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase; a series of balusters supporting a handrail or coping
Bargeboard: A board fastened to the projecting gables of a roof
Barrel vault: An architectural element formed by the extrusion of a single curve (or pair of curves, in the case of a pointed barrel vault) along a given distance
Bartizan: An overhanging, wall-mounted turret projecting from the walls of medieval fortifications
Cancellus: Barriers which correspond to the modern balustrade or railing, especially the screen dividing the body of a church from the part occupied by the ministers hence chancel. The Romans employed cancelli to partition off portions of the courts of law
Cantilever: An unsupported overhang acting as a lever, like a flagpole sticking out of the side of a wall
Capital: The topmost member of a column (or pilaster)
Column: A structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below
Compluvium: Latin term for the open space left in the roof of the atrium of a Roman house (domus) for lighting it and the rooms round
Coping: The capping or covering of a wall
Corbel: A structural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight
Cornice: Upper section of an entablature, a projecting shelf along the top of a wall often supported by brackets or corbels
Diastyle: Term used to designate an intercolumniation of three or four diameters
Diaulos: Peristyle round the great court of the palaestra, described by Vitruvius, which measured two stadia (1,200 ft.) in length, on the south side this peristyle had two rows of columns, so that in stormy weather the rain might not be driven into the inner part
Diazoma: A horizontal aisle in an ancient Greek theater that separates the lower and upper tiers of semi-circular seating and intersects with the vertical aisles
Dikka: Islamic architectural term for the tribune raised upon columns, from which the Koran is recited and the prayers intoned by the Imam of the mosque
Dipteral: Temples which have a double range of columns in the peristyle, as in the temple of Diana at Ephesus
Distyle: Having two columns, an architectural term for a portico having two columns between two anta n

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