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Architectural terms, their definitions in English and their translations

There are 321 entries in this glossary.
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Term Definition

sharp edge where two surfaces meet at an angle.


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.


(plural: atria) inner court of a Roman or C20 house; in a multi-story building, a toplit covered court rising through all stories.


Top story within the roof. A space or room just below the roof of a building.

Authorization to Proceed

A letter from LPC notifying an applicant that the proposed HVAC (ONLY HVAC? OTHER WORK COVERED BY THIS?) installations have been found to be in conformance with the provisions of an approved Master Plan.


A metal frame clad with fabric attached over a window, door, porch opening or storefront to provide protection from the weather.


A pseudo-balcony; a small window balcony

A balconet -- or guard rail -- fronting windows, prevented people from falling through deep sashes and provided a light and stylish miniature balcony.

A platform that projects from the wall of a building and is surrounded by a railing, balustrade, or parapet.

A gallery that projects over the main floor in a theater or an auditorium


An ornamental canopy over an altar, usually supported by columns, or a similar form over a tomb or throne

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.

Balloon framing

During the second half of the 19th century, one of the most important technological developments was the advent of balloon framing, whereby the framework of a house could be made out of uniform lumber; this was becoming increasingly available from commercial mills.

The first frames of this type were made in the early 1830s.

The framing system comprised inexpensive two-by-four-inch boards, combined as upright studs and cross-members and held together by cheap, mass-produced nails.

Eventually, by the turn of the century, balloon framing replaced traditional hewn timber construction and simplified the making of more complex architectural features, such as overhangs, bay windows and towers.

Plank construction (example from Black Rock, Buffalo, NY) for exterior walls was used until the 1830s


One of a series of short vertical posts, often ornamental, used to support a rail.


A railing composed of balusters and a top rail running along the edge of a porch, balcony, roof, or stoop.


Band/ribbon: One of a horizontal series of three windows or more, separated only by mullions, that form a horizontal band across the facade of a building In the US, most commonly found in buildings erected after 1900.


A decorative representation of a ribbon or long scroll, often bearing an emblem or inscription

Used in furniture, also.

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