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Classical Architecture


Dictionary of Architecture



Italian term signifying a bath. Thence bagnio became a general name in Turkey for the prisons where the slave or hostages were confinded. Bagne became the French world for r any hard labour prison.


a projection supported by consoles or pillars, frequently surrounded by a balustrade.

balcony di Giulietta, Verone
Balcony di Giulietta, Verone, Italy


a cruciform aperture in the walls of a fortress, through which cross-bowmen discharged their arrows: also the room wherein the balistre, or cross-bows, were deposited; and a turret, in which an archer was stationed, projecting from the parapet.These turrets are extremely common in many parts of the Continent, not only in fortresses, but at the angles of houses in the streets of a town, and in other situations, where the turbulence of the times had rendered them a necessary precaution.




This moulding is generally characteristic of the Decorated style of the fourteenth century; sometimes it appears in the style of the thirteenth century


a small column or pier supporting the coping in a pierced parapet: the parapet itself when pierced is hence called a balustrade.


nearly synonymous with Fillet,. This term is, however, most generally applied to that listel in the Doric entablature which separates the frieze from the architrave, and connects the lower parts of the triglyphs.



sometimes a separate building, sometimes the part of a church in which baptism was performed by immersion. There is a fine one on the north side of Canterbury Cathedral.

Baptistery san giovanni pisa

Baptistry of St. John, Pisa, Italy.


a kind of watch-tower: also an ad-vanced work before the gate of a castle or fortified town; or any out-work at a short distance from the main works.


a turret or small tower on the top of another building.



The congeries of mouldings generally placed under the shaft of an Ionic or Corinthian column is called its base.

The term is applied also to the lowest part of a pedestal or stylobate; to the vertical moulded fittings which go round walls on the floor; and generally to every thing that is put lowest, for any thing to rest on.

column base, pergamon museum

The Grecian Doric columns have no bases: the Tuscan base is half a diameter in height, and consists of a single plain torus: the proper base of the Roman Doric consists of one torus and an astragal; but in some instances a plinth and simple fillet is used; in others the attic base, consisting of a plinth, lower torus, scotia, and upper torus, with fillets between them: the bases used in the Ionic Order are very various, but the attic base is very often used, and with an astragal added above the upper torus, it as a beautiful and appropriate base for this order : the base most used for the Corinthian order consists of two tori and two scotia, divided by two astragals; but the attic base, and several other varieties, also occur: the base of the Composite order differs very little from the Corinthian.


projecting mouldings placed just above the foundation walls of churches.


the name applied by the Romans to their public halls, either of justice, of exchange, or other business. Many of these buildings were afterwards converted into Christian churches; and their ground-plan was generally followed in all the early churches, which also long retained the name. [SEE --->]

Maxentius basikica, Rome


sculptured work projecting less than half its proper proportion from a flat surface: when full half it is called Mezzo-relievo; when nearly detached from the back ground, Alto-relievo.


a fortress used for securing prisoners. They were numerous in England under the dominion of the Normans.


(Fr. battre, to beat).

Building over in projecting courses, like inverted steps, is termed battering, beating, or corbelling over.


a pierced or machicolated parapet



The space between the mull ions of a window, between piers, and between the principal beams of a roof, floor, or ceiling, is a bay.


a projecting window, rising from the ground or basement, in a semi-octagon, semi-hexagon, or polygonal form. A bow-window is always a segment of a circle; this term is modern. An oriel window is supported on a kind of bracket, and is usually on the first floor, most frequently over a gateway. These distinctions are little attended to in practice ; the terms are commonly used as synonymous even by authors of reputation, and usually careful in their expressions.

BEAD, a small cylindrical moulding of frequent use.


ornaments much used in Norman mouldings , a small round moulding in Grecian architecture: also a Norman ornament, representing a row of beads placed in a hollow



the congeries of mouldings which is under the projecting part of almost every cornice, and of which indeed it is a part.


a bell tower, or campanile; sometimes detached from the church


a room built above the roof of an edifice, for the purpose of viewing the surrounding country.


those surrounding the panels, and projecting before the face of a door or gate.


an ornament much used in Norman buildings, consisting of an imitation of wooden billets, or small pieces of stick, placed alternately with open spaces in a hollow moulding.



a deep but slightly projecting course in an elevation, to act as cornice to an arcade, or to separate a basement from a superior story. (See STRING-COURSE.)


a sculptured knob which is placed on the intersections of ribs in groined ceilings.

an ornament placed at the intersection of the ribs or groins in vaulted or in flat roofs: it is frequently richly sculptured with armorial bearings, or other devices. The bosses on the roof of a gateway at Merton College, Oxford,- represent the twelve signs of the zodiac, with the royal arms in the centre of the Prom York Min*4*r. system.

The intersecting part of a cross is also called a boss : the term also signifies a knob, a stud, or any prominent ornament raised above the rest of the work


the projected piers against the angles of towers, and against the ordinary piers of walls, to strengthen them, and receive the outward thrust of the inner transverse arches.



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