Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Architectural Word of the Day; 211 - 220


As far as I'm aware, Wells Cathedral is the only example. Not part of the original design, it was added almost 160 years after initial construction to stabilize a sagging tower on the verge of collapse.


The sacred burial mound architecture of Buddhist architecture typically enclosing sacred relics and providing a means for circumambulation and meditation. The main features correspond anthropomorphically to the seated posture of the Buddha as well as the 5 purified elements:

Earth - the square base

Water - the dome

Fire - the upper stone fence

Air - the pole of the umbrella

The Void (Space) - The umbrella itself


Of French origin, Portcullis quite literally means the "sliding door" referencing the defensive grating of iron and heavy timber lowered between the grooved jambs of a stone opening.


Machicolation means the "breaking of the neck" describing the floor openings or "murder holes" between corbeled overhangs through which rocks, hot oil and all manner of nasty things might be dropped upon a besieging force.


"The Murderess". A slender opening that allowed for the launch of projectiles with the least exposure, the most common form being an arrowslit.


An arch formed along an inclined plane where one impost sits higher than another. The rampant vault would include the ceiling thus formed.


A building exposing its timber frame as the principal means of structural support with masonry & plaster or wattle & daub infill. In long lasting examples the ground floor was composed of masonry construction so as to provide a suitable water table and the timber framing began on the first floor, hence the description "half" timbering.


A low guard wall or screened railing at the edge of a roof or terrace.


A defensive wall of earth, stone or combination thereof. Originally dating to the 17th century, parts of the Quebec City rampart, particularly the gates have been rebuilt more than once. It is the only remaining walled city in North America.

Contributed by Patrick Webb

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