Written by an experienced team of experts in the respective fields, it covers in over 8,000 entries the key areas of construction technology and practice, civil and construction engineering, construction management techniques and processes, and legal aspects such as contracts and procurement. With increasing emphasis on sustainability and energy efficiency of buildings and civil engineering key terms are addressed. Illustrations and entry-level web links complement entries where necessary.
Telford's experimental results were widely propagated in leading textbooks and in 1828 Provis published a magnificently illustrated account of the Menai Bridge project dedicated to Telford. In 2003 the Institution of Civil Engineers and American Society of Civil Engineers recognized both bridges as 'international civil engineering landmarks'. The project led to a surge in suspension bridge building and exercised a fundamental influence on the practice and development of I. K. Brunel, J. L. Clark, J. M. Rendel, and others between 1818 and 1840, establishing this type of bridge in its true role as the most economic means of achieving the largest spans. From about 1840, according to J. A. Roebling in 1867, because suspension bridges were not considered rigid enough for railway use, Telford's great achievement was mistakenly left unappreciated and greatly undervalued. The Menai Bridge was tastefully reconditioned in 1940. Conwy suspension bridge, created by means of the identical technology, also opened in 1826, still has its original ironwork. Telford's other suspension bridge projects included his controversial Clifton Bridge proposal of 1830, in which he envisaged possible deck undulation being inhibited by means of smaller spans, at the same time offering an opportunity for two splendid Gothic revival towers rising dramatically from the floor of the gorge. The design is understood to have received general approval, but it failed to attract sufficient funding.
D Dado 1 lower section of a wall, sometimes separated from the upper by a molding. 2 part of a pedestal between the base and cornice. Deconstructivism A type of skewed geometric postmodernist building design. See: American architecture (1600-present). Deutscher Werkbund Architecture and applied art organization in Germany set up by Hermann Muthesius (1861-1927). Diaper an all-over pattern of small square or lozenge-shaped units, found in Romanesque and Gothic buildings. The term is also applied to a similar pattern in stain glass. Dogtooth 1 small ornament shaped like a pyramid, with the flat faces cut back. 2 ornament on a molding, in the form of four lobes or leaves radiating from a center, found in 13th-century English architecture. Dome convex covering set over circular or polygonal base. as a roof, a dome is usually placed over a circular or square structure. The complete covering is composed of a pendentive, drum, dome, and lantern. First seen in Roman Architecture during the early Empire. Donjon also called the keep, the principal stronghold in a medieval castle, also used as a residence. Doric: see Orders of Architecture. Drum 1 circular or polygonal wall supporting a dome. 2 circular blocks of stone forming a column. E Eave lower edge of a roof, overhanging a wall. Echinus architectural element of the capital located beneath the abacus; in the Doric order, it has a convex shape without decoration; in the Ionic it is decorated with moulding. Elevation the side view of an architectural structure; a geometrical projection on a vertical plane. Enfilade distributional arrangement as though threaded on a string, in particular a series of rooms arranged so their doors form a continuous passage. Entablature upper section of a Classical Order consisting of architrave, frieze, and cornice. Entasis (Greek) a slight swelling of the contour of a column, designed to counteract the optical illusion of concavity and generally found in Classical architecture. Exedra semicircular or angular recess in a wall, common in Greek and Roman architecture. Extrados the exterior curve of an arch. F Facade face of a building, usually the main face. Finial the ornamental termination of part of a building such as a spire or pediment. Flamboyant Gothic architecture last phase of French Gothic architecture, from c.1375, characterized by elaborate, flowing window tracery. Flying buttress: see buttress. Foil in Gothic tracery, a small arc or lobe formed by cusps, making a leaflike design. The number of foils reflects the shape of a figure, as in trefoil, quatrefoil, cinquefoil. Foliated covered with leaf ornamentation. Frieze 1 part of an Entablature between the architrave and cornice, sometimes decorated in relief. 2 horizontal band of decoration along the upper part of a wall or on furniture. 3 woolen cloth. G Gable triangular part of a wall at the end of the roof ridge. Gable End gable-shaped canopy over a door or window, or a gable-topped wall. Galerie des rois carved band with the effigies of the kings of France located along the facade of a Gothic cathedral. Gallery 1 an upper story in a church above the aisle. 2 in Elizabethan or Jacobean architecture, a long room, usually extending the full length of the house. 3 place where works of art are displayed. Gargoyle waterspout projecting from the gutters of a building (especially in Gothic architecture) often in the form of an open-mouthed grotesque human or animal head. Georgian Architecture Designs from the reigns of George I,II,III and IV from 1714 to 1830. See late-18th century architecture. Giant order Column or Pilaster that extends over more than one story of a building; also known as colossal order. Gothic architecture Style that emerged in the Ile de France during the mid-12th century. See also English Gothic architecture (c.1180-1520). Gothic Revival Neo-Gothic architecture, practiced in 19th century Britain and America. Leading practitioners in America included Richard Upjohn (1802-78) and James Renwick (1818-95). Gothic Style Flying buttresses and walls full of stained glass - exemplified by Sainte Chapelle (1241-48), Paris. Greek cross cross with arms of equal length, often used as an architectural ground plan. Greek orders of architecture: see Doric, Ionic, Corinthian. See: Greek Architecture 900-27 BCE. Groin Arch supporting vault (see vault construction), or the intersection of two barrel vaults. Grotesque a style of decoration used in the 16th century adopting the fanciful or fantastic forms found on Roman wall decorations, most especially in grottoes. H-J Ha-ha a ditch or other vertical drop separating a garden from the surrounding nature, thus forming a barrier without interrupting the view. Hall church church whose nave and aisles are about the same height. Harmonic facade a facade framed by two towers. Hindu architecture Exemplified by the 11th century Kandariya Mahadeva Hindu Temple (1017-29) in Madhya Pradesh, India. Hotel Tassel Iconic Art Nouveau building in Brussels, designed by Victor Horta (1861-1947). Iconostasis in Russian or Byzantine churches, the screen on which Icons are placed. Imafronte the central part of the facade of a church. International Style A modernist style of architecture begun by Walter Gropius and Le Corbusier, and developed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Intrados the interior curve of an arch. Ionic the second Classic order of Greek architecture; see Orders of architecture. Irish architecture see architectural monuments of Ireland. Isabelline style named after Queen Isabella of Castile, Spanish style of architecture noted for its extraordinary flair and Flamboyant Gothic elements; often called Hispano-Flemish as being more accurate and to avoid confusion with Spain's Queen Isabella II. Jesuits, Church of Il Gesu Famous church in Rome designed (1568-73) by Vignola (1507-73), which set the standard for ecclesiastical architecture during the early Baroque. K Kalighat Indian temple in Calcutta, built in 1809 and dedicated to the Buddhist deity Kali. Keep the principal tower in a castle or bastion; the donjon. Keystone central wedge-shaped block of an arch. Khmer architecture Exemplified by the extraordinary 12th century Angkor Wat Khmer Temple (1115-45) in Cambodia. L Lancet tall, narrow, acutely pointed window, a feature of Early English architecture (13th century). Langchor choir style used in the churches of German mendicant orders, separated from the nave by a screen. Lantern a drum with windows above a dome. Linear perspective In drawing, the creation of depth in the picture plane; the extension of parallel lines to one or more vanishing points. Lierne from the French, a cross rib or branch rib; a rib that runs from one rib to another to decorate a vault and thus does not spring from a main springer or a central boss. Lintel horizontal beam above a door or window. Loggetta small arcade or open gallery. Loggia covered colonade or archade, open on at least one side. Lozenge diamond shape with four equal sides. Lunette a crescent-shaped opening above a door or in a vault. M Marble type of limestone used since Antiquity for sculpture and building. It occurs in various colours, from pure white to black, often veined. Masonry stonework. Master Mason skilled, senior mason. Mausoleum 1 the tomb of Mausolus of Caria at Halicarnassus, 350 BCE. 2 large, imposing structure erected as a tomb. Megaliths large monumental stone structures (eg. Stonehenge) and tombs (eg. Newgrange) often embellished with abstract patterns of megalithic art. Metope space between Triglyphs in a Doric frieze (see Orders of architecture). Mezzanine intermediate level between two floors. Middle Kingdom An era of architectural design in Upper/Lower Egypt. See: Egyptian Middle Kingdom Architecture (2055-1650). Mihrab niche in the Qibla wall of a mosque, indicating the direction of Mecca. Mimbar pulpit in a mosque. Minaret slender tower of a mosque from which worshipers are called to prayer. Module a size taken as the unit of measure for establishing the proportions of an architectural structure. Mortar building material made from lime, sand, plaster of Paris, and fibrous materials mixed with water, which sets by hydration or carbonation. The term may refer to this mixture in the wet state, or to any similar mixture used as a cement for stone or brick. Mosaic design formed from small pieces of stone, glass, marble, etc. Moulding in architecture, a decorative recessed or relieved element. Mozarabic art art made in Spain during the Islamic domination by Christians whose work revealed the influence of Islam; from Mozarab, from Mustarib, meaning 'arabicized'. Mudejar name given to Moors who remained in Spain after the Christian reconquest but did not convert to Christianity; the term is applied in particular to their style of architecture; from mudajjan, 'allowed to remain'. Mughal architecture Exemplified by the sublime Islamic art of the 17th century Taj Mahal (1632-54) in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. Mullion the vertical member that divides a window into two or more lights; see tracery. Mur epais a gallery built within the thickness of a wall at the height of the windows. N Narthex porch across the west end of a church, used by those not yet taking full communion, e.g. penitents. the portico of an ancient church, especially with columns or pillars; the vestibule of a church leading to the nave. The narthex is an endonarthex if it occupies a part of the nave of the church; an exonarthex if it is located on the exterior of the facade with an open portico. Nave main body or aisle of church. The longitudinal area of a church leading from the entrance to the altar, usually flanked by rows of columns or piers. The nave is usually flanked by aisles that run parallel to it but are shorter than it. A nave without illumination is a blind nave. Neoclassical architecture the late 18th-century European style, lasting from c.1770 to 1830, which reacted against the worst excesses of the Baroque and Rococo, reviving the Antique. It implies a return to classical sources which imposed restraint and simplicity on painting and architecture. Neoclassical Architects In America, these included Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), William Thornton (1759-1828), Benjamin Latrobe (1764-1820) and Charles Bulfinch (1763-1844). Net Vault Gothic vault in which the Lierne Ribs form a net-like pattern; see vault construction. New Kingdom Prolific period of temple building in Ancient Egypt. See: Egyptian New Kingdom Architecture (1550-1069). Niche a recess in a wall, usually semicircular, usually used to hold a statue. Norman gallery gallery running in front of the windows, typical of Anglo-Norman architecture. Nymphaeum Roman \"temple of the nymphs\" or house of pleasure, often with statues. O Obelisk tall, four-sided free-standing pillar. It originated in Egypt as a solar symbol. Oculus originally the circular window at the west end of a church; it may also mean an illusionistic painting of a window or circular opening. Ogive, ogival diagonal or pointed, most especially in terms of an arch. Old Kingdom Main era of pyramid architecture in Ancient Egypt. See: Early Egyptian Architecture (3100-2181). Open plan building plan that is unencumbered by vertical support structures. Opus reticulatum Roman masonry of lozenge-shaped stones forming a net pattern. Opus sectile Roman wall or floor decoration composed of marble or stone pieces arranged to create geometric motifs. Orders of Architecture the five Classic orders, each composed of a column, having a base, shaft, capital, and entablature with Architrave frieze, and cornice. There are three Greek orders: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. These were adapted by the Romans, who added Tuscan and Composite. Oriel bay window on an upper story. P-Q Palladian style Architectural design, in imitation of the style of Andrea Palladio; a reaction against the Baroque in favour of the Classical; also called Neo-Palladian. Pantheon literally, a temple of \"all the gods\"; usually the one at Rome built c.27-25 BCE. Sometimes also used as a collective noun for all the gods. Parapet low wall around a balcony or similar structure. Parthenon The chief temple of Athena in Athens, on the Acropolis, built c.447-433 BCE. Pedestal a support or base for a column, statue, vase, or obelisk, as exemplified by the neoclassical pedestal supporting the copper figure of the Statue of Liberty (1870-86) in New York harbour. Pediment in Classic Greek architecture, a triangular gable under the roof of a building, or similar triangular field. Pendant 1 projecting or suspended boss in Gothic architecture. 2 decoration at the end of a Gable roof. 3 one of a pair of works. Pendant vault vault decorated with hanging stone bosses or terminals; found in late Gothic architecture: see vault construction. Pendentive one of the concave triangular members that supports a dome; a spherical triangular section of masonry making a transition from a square to a circular surface. Peripteral temple a classical temple surrounded by columns on all sides. Peristyle colonnade around Classical temple or court, or an inner court in a large house surrounded by a colonnade. Perpendicular the English Gothic style of c.1335 to c.1530; its most characteristic feature is vertical window tracery. Pier solid support between door or window openings, or supporting a bridge; usually square although it may be cylindrical, hence cylindrical pier. A compound pier in Gothic architecture is a group of Shafts. See vault construction. Pilaster rectangular attached column that projects from a wall by less than one third of its width. Pilier cantonne a pier composed of a core to which are attached four shafts projecting in the cardinal directions. Pillar vertical supporting member; unlike a column, it may be square. Pilotis French term meaning 'pile', as in 'foundation pile', used for the elements, usually made in reinforced concrete, that lift a building off the ground, creating a covered space without walls and thus in direct contact with the exterior nature. Pinnacle conical or pyramid-shaped ornament on top of a spire, especially in Gothic architecture. Plan design of an architectural complex, building, or part of a building in a horizontal projection, as though seen from above. A central-planned building is organized symmetrically around a geometric centre. The same term is applied to a Greek-cross plan, so-called when its four arms are of the same length. In the Latin-cross plan, the long arm is cut by the short arm at about a third of its length. In the Tau plan, the transept is located at the far end of the longitudinal nave. Plate tracery of windows, early form of Gothic tracery with simple wide mullions. Plateresque architectural style that flourished in Spain during the 16th century distinguished by its rich decorations ('silversmith', from the Spanishplata, 'silver'). Plinth 1 the rectangular stone slab or block that forms the lowest member on which a column or statue stands. 2 projecting base of a wall. Podium 1 continuous base of a building or room. 2 raised platform. Porch covered entrance, usually at the main door of a building. Portal monumental entrance to a civil or religious building given architectural emphasis. Portico covered colonade at the entrance to a building. Porticus small porch built on the north or south side of English pre-Conquest churches. Sometimes a porticus was built on both sides, thus forming rudimentary transepts. Prairie House A style of midwestern architecture influenced by Japanese forms, invented by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). It later developed into the Usonian House style. Predella 1 a platform on which an altar stands. 2 lower part of painted altarpiece. Presbytery in churches, the area around the altar reserved for the clergy, separated from the faithful by a screen. It may be elevated if above a crypt. Sometimes synonymous with sanctuary. Pronaos in Greek temples, the area between the colonnade and the area in front of the cell (temple); later, an architectural element to itself, composed of columns and piers outside or inside the facade of a building. Propylaeum in classical architecture, a colonnade located at the top of a flight of stairs, forming an interior or exterior portico through which one enters a monumental building, hence a monumental entranceway. Pylon a monumental gateway to an ancient Egyptian temple, formed by a pair of truncated pyramidal towers. Pyramid the most famous type of Egyptian Architecture, it was a stone or brick tomb; rising from a square base to a triangular apex. Leading exponents included Imhotep, who designed Djoser's Step Pyramid. Qibla west wall of a mosque, indicating the direction of Mecca. Quadrangle rectangular or square figure, or four-sided courtyard. Quadratura Trompe l'oeil fresco ceiling murals to extend architecture beyond the confines of the room. Quadripartite vault vault divided in four cells. Quatrefoill four-arc opening in Gothic tracery. 2 four-lobed decorative motif. Quincunx an arrangement of five objects with four at the corners of a square and one in the center. Quoin the keystone or voussoir of an arch; a solid exterior corner of a building. 59ce067264