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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
Palladian door

A door topped with a rounded arch and flanked by vertical rectangular areas of fixed glass on each side that are narrower than and usually not as high as the the door; suggestive of a Palladian window

Palladian window

A window with a central arched section flanked by two narrow rectangular sections


Artistic motif based on the fan-shaped leaves of a palm tree.


Triangular-stemmed reed, which grew about 13 ft. tall, flourished along the banks of the Nile, but vanished due to overharvesting for boats, baskets, sandals, rope, and writing material. Attempts are now being made to reintroduce it into

  1. Of, relating to, or expressed in terms of a parameter or parameters.
  2. Assuming the value of a parameter for the purpose of analysis.
Parametric Design

There is no real definition to ‘parametric design’ or ‘parametric architecture’ that can clearly describe what it is. Other related terms and synonyms include: generative, computational, digital, computer aided and associative. It is far more complex than simply computer aided digital design (which it often gets referred as), but parametric design is not any design drawn with the use of a computer. Parametric design involves algorithms to give ease to the workload avoiding repetitive manual inputs. Think for example of anything repetitive on a building: bricks, panels, windows, facade elements, columns, etc. Now imagine you wish to change the size of each panel, the best way to tackle this problem is using an algorithm instead of manually replacing each panel. Grasshopper 3D has revolutionized these algorithms for those who know nothing about scripting: the complex Rhinoscript (a powerful tool, but knowledge of scripting is necessary). Grasshopper 3D is a plugin for Rhinoceros Rhino 3D and allows users to create scripts without scripting knowledge by plugging actions together.


A low guarding wall at any point of sudden drop, as at the edge of a terrace, roof, battlement, balcony, etc.


Parclose – screen or railing used to enclose a chantry, tomb or chapel, in a church, and for the space thus enclosed.


A bas-relief decorative oval or circular ornament, resembling a shallow dish


A film or fine coating of oxide formed on the surface of a metal, esp the green oxidation of pure copper objects as well as alloys which contain copper, such as bronze or brass.

The luster or sheen on any surface, produced by age and use.


Pavilion (structure) – a free standing structure near the main building or an ending structure on building wings.

Pearl molding

A semiround convex molding decorated with a pattern of disks alternating with round or elongated beads

Pebble dash

Flat stucco embedded with pebbles for a texture effect

Pedestal (also Plinth)

Pedestal (also Plinth)- the base or support on which a statue, obelisk, or column is mounted.


Pediment – (Gr. ἀετός, Lat. fastigium, Fr. ponton), in classic architecture the triangular-shaped portion of the wali above the cornice which formed the termination of the roof behind it. The projecting mouldings of the cornice which surround it enclose the tympanum, which is sometimes decorated with sculpture.

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