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anything that is built or constructed, has a plan

Post and Lintel

horizontal beams laid across vertical supports

Tensile Strength

ability of a material to withstand bending

Compressive Strength

ability to withstand compression or crushing


greek column; simple capital


greek column; scrolled capital


greek column; fancy capital


a row of columns


can define large spaces; stress is transferred out from center; keystone does not depend on tensile strenth; requires a butress to support walls

Tunnel Vault

arches placed back to back to enclose space

Groin Vault

when two tunnel vaults intersect at right angles

Ribbed Vault

protuding masonry resulting from a groin vault

Round (Roman) arch


Horseshoe (moorish) Arch

Lancet Arch

Trefoil Arch

Tudor Arch


arches jointed at the top and legs form a circle; expansive, freer space inside a structure, base can be circular or angled


used for a dome with a square base; triangular space between domes and arches; transfers weight and stress


steeple like structure


overhanging beam or floor supported only at one end


supporting wall for an arch to prevent legs from caving outward

Flying Buttress

overcame bulk of stone buttress, light in appearance, used on gothic churches


what the structure is made from


purpose the building was originally designed for; can change later


Physical (environment in which structure is located), Historical (time, place, and culture that created it)

Line (element)

where two parts come together

Color/Value (element)

colors used on the interior or exterior

Shape/Form (element)

outline of the building, if viewed from air

Texture (element)

can be interior or exterior

Space (principle)

area in and around a building

Balance (principle)

distribution of weight

Rhythm (principle)

repeated use of an element

Contrast (principle)

use of very different elements

Gradation (principle)

gradual change in elements; step pyramid

Emphasis (principle)

calling attention to one part using elements and principles

Scale (principle)

size compared to people

Proportion (principle)

comparison of size of parts and size of whole

Variety (principle)

use of different elements

Unity (principle)

use of similar elements to tie structure together

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