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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

The part of a wall below the dado rail (chair rail), sometimes decorated with paneling or wainscoting.Purpose of the dado, historically, was to cover the lower part of the wall which was subject to stains from rising damp.

Dado rail / chair rail: A horizontal moulding fixed to an interior wall about 4-5 feet above the floor. Purpose of the dado rail (chair rail) was to protect the wall from chair backs.


Having a timber framework with the spaces filled with masonry or plaster

Nogging: brick masonry used to fill the spaces between the members of a timber frame

Wattle: a framework of rods or poles interwoven with thin branches, twigs, and reeds

Daub (pronounced: dawb): a soft, adhesive coating material, such as plaster, grease, or mud

Wattle and daub: a form of wall construction, consisting of wattles, covered and plastered with clay or mud.

Used in English Elizabethan period.

Wattle and daub used by Romans in 1 BC.


Any day other than a Saturday or Sunday or legal holiday.

Decorative Masonry:

Terra cotta, cast-stone or natural stone (such as limestone, marble, brownstone or granite) facade areas and/or any ornamental feature which is a component of the facade such as, belt courses, banding, water tables, cornices, corbelled brick work, medallions, enframements, and surrounds, and ornamental bonding patterns, e.g. tapestry brick or diaper patterns.


Dismantling or razing of all or part of an existing improvement.


A small, square, tooth-like block in a series beneath a cornice.

Detail Magazine

A German architecture magazine featuring an in depth look into architecture details from buildings of great integrity


The dimensions and contours of both the stationary and moveable portions of a window, and moldings.

Diaper pattern (Diaper work)

An overall pattern with small repeated motifs, especially on a rectangular or diagonal grid


term used to designate an intercolumniation of three or four diameters


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. The word was also used in ancient Greece for a foot race of twice the usual length.


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.

Digital Tectonics
  1. Digital and computer-linked design techniques in architecture.
  2. A master’s degree in architecture at the ‘Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia‘ (IAAC) in Barcelona, Spain. ORIGIN: Coined by Prof. Neil Leach. The old opposition between a digital culture of sensuous, ephemeral images and a tectonic culture of pragmatic building has given way to a new collaboration between the two domains, a ‘digital tectonics’. Computer linked fabrication techniques of many kinds have become an integral part of the design process, while new digital tools are allowing engineers and architects to understand in far more detail the behavior of load carrying surfaces, and to generate new architectural forms. Digital and computer-linked design techniques is one of the hottest topics in architecture and in an ever-expanding world of digital technology this book tackles the practical elements of the field.

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


temples which have a double range of columns in the peristyle, as in the temple of Diana at Ephesus.

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