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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

Able to provide for your own needs without help from others; “a self-sufficing economic unit”.

Sommer or Summer

Girder or main “summer beam” of a floor: if supported on two storey posts and open below, also called a “bress” or “breast-summer”. Often found at the centerline of the house to support one end of a joist, and to bear the weight of the structure above.


In a building fascade, esp. glass, the section covering floor partions.

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Any building, structure, place, work of art, or other object constituting a physical betterment of real property, or any part of such betterment.


An architectural term for the lowest voussoir on each side of an arch.


A piece of construction used for filling in the upper angles of a square room so as to form a proper base to receive an octagonal or spherical dome.


An opening, often arched, through an internal wall of a church providing an oblique view of the altar.

Stained glass

Coloured or stained glass used especially in church windows to form figures or decorations. The colour is derived from metalllic oxide added during manufacture. Small pieces of the coloured glass are set into a framework to compose the design or image.

Sunburst (design)

A design or figure commonly used in architectural ornaments and design patterns, including art nouveau.


Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level. (esp. of development, exploitation, or agriculture) Conserving an ecological balance by avoiding depletion of natural resources.


In the classical orders, this describes columns rather thickly set, with an intercolumniation to which two diameters are assigned.

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