Random Terms

Isaac Kremer/ October 28, 2023/ Uncategorized/ 0 comments

The Architecture Glossary is a multi-year project to gather commonly occurring architectural terms and create a visual index. The latest numbers of terms and photos follow:

DateTermsTerms Web% Terms WebPhotos% Photos Web

Whenever visiting the website a “Glossary Random Terms” list is generated on the right side of the webpage. Periodically we will take five random terms and try to summarize the relationship between these in as few words as possible. This is to demonstrate how architecture and the terms to describe it are interconnected in ways that are not apparent. These connections between disparate concepts deepen our understanding of the possibilities of what architecture might look like.


Liberty. Italian Art Nouveau, called Stile Liberty. 2. Allegorical female figure frequently depicted by French Revolutionary artists, complete with flaming torch and Phrygian cap. (Curl & Wilson, 2016)

Totalitarian architecture. Supposedly the officially approved architecture of dictatorships, over-centralized governments, or political groups intolerant of opposition, especially that of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, Stalinist Soviet Union, Communist China, etc. As an international style, it often drew on simplified Neo-Classicism, and sculpture based on 19th c. realism and Classicism for massive over-sized State monuments. (Curl & Wilson, 2016)

split system. In heating, an installation utilizing two simple systems, such as radiators and also indirect warm air. (Saylor, 1952)

iron balconet. A low, slightly projecting, ornamental railing around the lower portion of a window; a false-balcony. Made of iron. (Phillips, 1994)

return. The continuation of a cornice around the gable end of a house. 2. Profit from an investment, also known as return on investment. Photo from Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan, 2013. (Kremer, 2022)

Description of Relationship Between Random Terms

Pietro Fenoglio’s Cosa Fenolglio-Lafleur in Turin, Italy, as an example of the Italian Art Nouveau orLibertystyle. The fourth-floor window openings on the central corner-facing tower have an iron balconet. Totalitarian architecture is evident only by proximity, with the 1902 building predating Fascist Italy (1922-1943) under Benito Mussolini by 20 years. The simplified Neo-Classicism of Totalitarian architecture might have very well incorporated returns with the continuation of a cornice around the gable end. Fascist Italy described the role of the state in the economy under the new economic system of corporatism. This called for professional corporations with trade union and employers belonging to the same profession or branch. These tended to favor market forces being dominant over state intervention. A split system of heating might be used in Liberty or Totalitarian architecture, but owing to their period likely not, as other heating systems would have predominated in the early 20th century. (152 words)

Can you better describe the connection between the five random terms? If so, please post in the comments below.

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About Isaac Kremer

A nationally recognized downtown revitalization leader, downtowns Isaac managed achieved $350 million of investment, 1,300 jobs created, and were 2X Great American Main Street Award Semifinalist and a 1X GAMSA winner in 2023. His work has been featured in Newsday, NJBIZ, ROI-NJ, TapInto, and USA Today. Isaac is a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP) with additional certifications from the National Parks Service, Project for Public Spaces, and the National Development Council.

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