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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

A triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a sloping roof.


Triangular terminations to buttresses, much in use in the Early English and Decorated periods, after which the buttresses generally terminated in pinnacles. The Early English gablets are generally plain, and very sharp in pitch. In the Decorated period they are often enriched with paneling and crockets. They are sometimes finished with small crosses, but more often with finials.


Carved or curved molding used in architecture and interior design as decorative motif, often consisting of flutes which are inverted and curved. Popular during the Italian Renaissance.

Galletting (also Garretting)

The process in which the gallets or small splinters of stone are inserted in the joints of coarse masonry to protect the mortar joints. They are stuck in while the mortar is wet.


A symmetrical two-sided roof with two slopes on each side.

Gauged brickwork (also rubbed brickwork)

Brickwork constructed of soft bricks rubbed to achieve a fine smooth finish with narrow joints between courses.


A freestanding pavilion structure often found in parks, gardens and public areas.


(Greek: γεῖσον – often interchangeable with cornice) the part of the entablature that projects outward from the top of the frieze in the Doric order and from the top of the frieze course of the Ionic and Corinthian orders; it forms the outer edge of the roof on the sides of a structure with a sloped roof.

golden ratio

In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one.


Style which influenced first architecture and later painting, sculpture and the minor arts. It developed in France during the mid-12th century and spread throughout Europe and Italy from the 13th to the 15th centuries. Gothic sculpture is characterized by a pure, verical line and delicate interpretation; in architecture the pointed arch, ribbed vault and flying buttresses are typical features.


A decorative design made by scratching the plaster of a wall, or the surface of a stone, metal, ceramics or layer of painting, to reveal the contrasting colour of the background. Alternatively the outline made may be filled with a material of a different colour.

Grasshopper 3D

Grasshopper 3D is a visual programming language developed by David Rutten at Robert McNeel & Associates. Grasshopper runs within the Rhinoceros 3D CAD application. Programs are created by dragging components onto a canvas. The outputs to these components are then connected to the inputs of subsequent components. Grasshopper is used mainly to build generative algorithms. Many of Grasshoppers components create 3D geometry. Programs may also contain other types of algorithms including numeric, textual, audio-visual and haptic applications.


Derived from the term grotto which was used in the 16th century to describe the ruins of the Domus Aurea (Nero’s palace in Rome). It describes painted or stucco decoration in a style frequent in ancient Rome which represented imaginary and fantastic motifs (plants interwoven with mythical or semi-human and animal figures).

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