Glossary of Architectural Terms Used


› The Early Capitol Locations
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› West Virginia Executive Mansion
› Building the Capitol: Part 1
› Building the Capitol: Part 2
› Building the Capitol: Part 3
› The Architect's Description
› Biographical Sketch of the Architect
› Capitol Building Commission Members
› The West Virginia Capitol: Project of Five Governors
› Mythological Figures in the Carved Heads
› Summary of Facts Concerning the Capitol
› Glossary of Architectural Terms Used
› Bibliography and Photographic Credits
arch - curved structure used as a support over an open space
architrave - beam resting directly on the tops of columns; the bottom section of the entablature
baluster - any of the singular posts of a railing
balustrade - row of columns supporting a railing
coffer - decorative sunken panel in a ceiling or dome
colonnade - series of columns set at regular intervals
column - cylindrical support consisting of base, shaft and capital (cap)
Corinthian - the most elaborate of the three orders of Greek architecture, distinguished by a bell-shaped capital with a design of acanthus leaves
cornice - the top section of the entablature; a horizontal molding projecting along the top of a building or wall
cupola - a small dome or similar structure on a roof
dais - raised platform at the end of a room or chamber
dome - roof formed by a series of rounded arches or vaults on a round or many-sided base
Doric - the oldest architectural style of ancient Greece; characterized by simplicity of form; fluted, heavy columns and simple capitals
entablature - a horizontal superstructure supported by columns and composed of architrave, frieze and cornice
fasces - bundle of rods bound about an ax; a sculpted or carved depiction of it; Roman symbol of power and authority
frieze - the horizontal band forming the middle section of the entablature; usually decorated with sculpture
guilloche - ornamental trim formed by intertwining bands
Ionic - Greek style of architecture characterized by ornamental scrolls on the capitals
lantern - open structure on a roof or in a tower or dome that admits light and air
mansard roof - a roof with two slopes on each of the four sides, the lower steeper than the upper
parapet - a low wall or railing on a balcony or bridge
pediment - a low-pitched gable or decorative triangular piece on the front of a building above a doorway or portico
pendentive bracket - vaulting area that serves to connect an angle of a square area enclosed by four arches with a dome resting upon the arches
pilaster - a rectangular support projecting slightly from a wall, treated architecturally as a column
plinth - the square block at the base of a column, pedestal or statue
porte cochere - driveway under or through a portion of a building
portico - a porch or covered walk consisting of a roof supported by columns
rotunda - the round hall or room surmounted by a dome
terra cotta - a hard brown-red earthenware, usually unglazed, used for ornamental facing
tympanum - recessed space enclosed by slanting cornices of a pediment
vault - an arched chamber
vestibule - small entrance hall of a building

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