Architecture Glossary

Alphabetical Order

By Category

BUILDING: The art and the practice of putting together material in such a way as to produce a structure of some elaboration; especially, in architectural usage, a dwelling house, hall for meeting, place of worship, or the like.

DESIGN: To conceive, contrive, or devise the form and structure of a building or other construction.

FUNCTION: The natural or proper action for which something is designed, used, or exists.

MATERIAL: Matter having unique qualities by which it may be categorized.

ORDER: An Order is the total assemblage of parts comprising the column and its appropriate entablature. The primary divisions of the column are base, shaft and capital. The primary divisions of the entablature are architrave, frieze and cornice.

  • Order / column / arrangement
  • Order / column / base
  • Order / column / capital
  • Order / column / shaft
  • Order / column / type
  • Order / entablature / architrave
  • Order / entablature / cornice
  • Order / entablature / frieze
  • Order / entablature
  • Order / pediment
  • Order / type

SERVICES: Commonly, mechanical services within a building, such as heating, plumbing, ventilation, power, IT, etc.

  • services / communication
  • services / drainage
  • services / electricity
  • services / elevator
  • services / escalator
  • services / fire safety
  • services / fireplace
  • services / heating
  • services / hoist
  • services / hydraulic
  • services / insulation
  • services / lighting
  • services / moisture control
  • services / plumbing
  • services / sound
  • services / ventilation

SKIN: A term referring to the outer “clothing” or membrane of a building – the brick walls, the glass and steel cladding, windows, doors, and so on.

STRUCTURE: A stable assembly of structural elements designed and constructed to function as a whole in supporting and transmitting applied loads safely to the ground without exceeding the allowable stresses in the members.

STYLE: Characteristic form, as of a specific period in history.

TYPE: Exemplar, pattern, prototype, or original work serving as a model after which a building or buildings are copied.

Geographic Origin


Empire / Nation

Sources Cited