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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
Fab Lab (Fabrication Laboratory)

Fab Lab – (short for Fabrication Laboratory) is a laboratory or workshop for digital fabrication which is equipped with a set of computer controlled fabricationtools (such as a 3D printer, CNC milling machine, Laser cutter, Vinyl Cutter, Embroider) with the aim to make just about anything you can think of. This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production, a fab lab can focus on Mass Customization. While fab labs have yet to compete with mass production and its associated economies of scale in fabricating widely distributed products, they have already shown the potential to empower individuals to create smart devices for themselves. These devices can be tailored to local or personal needs in ways that are not practical or economical using mass production. ORIGIN: It was born out of Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2005 through the (CBA) Center for Bits and Atoms which was lead by Prof. Neil Gerschenfeld.


The exterior face of a building which is the architectural front

Fan vault

An arched structure of stone, brick, or reinforced concrete, forming a supporting structure of a ceiling or roof

Ribs and vaults are commonly found in Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival styles


Noun Fanlight – window, semicircular or semi-elliptical in shape, with glazing bars or tracery sets radiating out like an open fan.


From the Latin word " fascis" meaning "bundle."

Symbolism: :

The bundle of rods bound together symbolizes strength through unity which a single rod lacks. "The Fasces was adopted from the Etruscans. It symbolized the power of life or death that a Roman Magistrate had over the Roman citizen; who could be scourged by the birch rods, representing physical punishment for transgressions; or be beheaded by the ax for serious crimes." - The Fasces


Faux is a French work used to describe something made to resemble something else, such as faux fur, faux leather, faux silk, faux stone, faux graining on furniture.

The original French word means false, fake, imitation or artificial.Found in almost all western styles of architecture


Feretory – enclosure or chapel within which the ferreter shrine, or tomb (as in Henry VII.’s chapel), was placed.


Also called garland or swag Architecture

A string or garland of ribbons, flowers, fruit or foliage draped between two supports

Used as decoration on pilasters and panels and suspended in a curve between rosettes, skulls of animals, etc.

In cemeteries, on monuments or markers, the symbol of saintliness and glory; victory in death.

Fruit festoon: Garland of fruit, leaves, and flowers, tied with ribbons and usually draped between two rosettes to form a downward curve. A popular Roman motif, revived in the Renaissance

A type of garland is bay leaf garland



An ornament, usually foliated, on top of a peak of an arch or arched structure, e.g., a spire, pinnacle or a gable

Bouquet: The floral or foliated ornament orming the extreme top of a finial, knob, etc

A finial that points downwards is called a pendant finial.

In Gothic or Gothic Revival architecture, a spire-like finial may continue to from a pendant. Example: Salisbury, England

Architectural finials commonly found in Gothic, Gothic Revival, Italianate styles

Flamboyant Gothic

Flamboyant Gothic. Style of Gothic architecture which came into being at the end of the 14th and beginning of the 15th centuries. It developed in similar fashion in many European countries and was characterized, especially in painting and the applied arts, by an extremely linear decorative style and a purity of color. Flamboyant Gothic may have derived from the influence of Simone Martini’s later work on French artists during his period in Avignon.


Flushwork – the decorative combination on the same flat plane of flint and ashlar stone. It is characteristic of medieval buildings, most of the survivors churches, in several areas of Southern England, but especially East Anglia. If the stone projects from a flat flint wall, the term is proudwork – as the stone stands “proud” rather than being “flush” with the wall.

Flying buttress

a specific type of buttress usually found on a religious building such as a cathedral.

Flying rib

an exposed structural beam over the uppermost part of a building which is not otherwise connected to the building at its highest point. A feature of H frame constructed concrete buildings and some modern skyscrappers.


literally translation of “pedestal”, the lower part of a pier in architecture.


French term for the wall-rib carrying the web or filling-in of a vault.

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