The acanthus is one of the most common ornaments used to depict folliage. Architectural ornaments are carved in stone or wood in the appearance of leaves from the Mediterranean acanthus spinosus plant, with some resemblance to thistle, poppy and parsley leaves. more..
The Adam style (or Adamesque) is a style of neoclassical architecture and design as practised by Scottish architect Robert Adam (1728- 1792) and his brothers. more..
African art is one of the universal cultural traditions of art that refers to every artistic artwork that originates from the continent of Africa. more..
Agate is a type of quartz (silica), chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. more..
Akrotiri is the name of a Minoan settlement on the Greek island of Santorini. It was buried by a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC, and as a result is remarkably well-preserved. more..
Alabaster (sometimes called satin spar) is a name applied to varieties of two distinct minerals: gypsum (a hydrous sulfate of calcium) and calcite (a carbonate of calcium). more..
Amber is the common name for fossil resin or tree sap that is appreciated for its inherent and interesting mixture of colours and it is widely used for the manufacture of ornamental objects. more..
The original Amber Room (English sometimes Amber Chamber) in the Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near Saint Petersburg was a complete chamber decoration of amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors. more..
Ammolite is a rare and valuable opal-like organic gemstone found primarily along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains of the United States and Canada. more..
Ammonites are an extinct group of marine animals of the subclass Ammonoidea in the class Cephalopoda, phylum Mollusca. more..
For at least ten thousand years, the Nile valley has been the site of one of the most influential civilizations in the world which developed a vast array of diverse structures which we refer to as Ancient Egyptian architecture. more..
Ancient Rome was a civilization that grew from a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula circa the 9th century BC to a massive empire straddling the Mediterranean Sea. more..
In architecture, the apse (Latin absis "arch, vault"; sometimes written apsis; plural apses) is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault. more..
The architrave (also called epistyle) is the lintel or beam that rests on the capitals of the columns. more..
Arris is an architectural term that describes the sharp edge formed by the intersection of two surfaces, such as the corner of a masonry unit; the junction between two planes of plaster or any intersection of divergent architectural details. more..
Art Nouveau (French for 'new art') is an international style of art, architecture and design that peaked in popularity at the beginning of the 20th century (1880-1914) and is characterised by highly-stylised, flowing, curvilinear designs often incorporating floral and other plant-inspired motifs. more..
The Arts and Crafts movement was a British and American aesthetic movement occurring in the last years of the 19th century and the early years of the 20th century. more..
In architecture, an atrium (plural atria) is a large open space, often several stories high and having a glazed roof and/or large windows, often situated within an office building and usually located immediately beyond the main entrance doors. more..
Aventurine is a form of quartz, characterised by its translucency and the presence of platy mineral inclusions that give a shimmering or glistening effect termed aventurescence. more..
Azurite is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. more..
A baldachin, or baldaquin (Italian: baldacchino or baldachino), is a canopy of state over an altar or throne, It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other cases it is a sturdy, permanent architectural feature, particularly over high altars in cathedrals. more..
A baluster (through the French balustre, from Italian balaustro, from balaustra, "pomegranate flower" [from a resemblance to the post], from Lat. balaustium, from Gr. balaustion) is a moulded shaft, square or circular, in stone or wood and sometimes in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a parapet or the handrail of a staircase. more..
A baradari, in Persian and Moghul architecture, is a building or room with 12 doors which is designed to allow the free draught of air through it. more..
In the arts, the Baroque was a Western cultural epoch, commencing roughly at the turn of the 17th century in Rome, that was exemplified by drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music. more..
The Latin word basilica (derived from Greek, Basiliké Stoà, Royal Stoa), was originally used to describe a Roman public building (as in Greece, mainly a tribunal), usually located at the center of a Roman town (forum). more..
Belvedere (occasionally Belvidere) is an architectural term adopted from Italian (literally "fair view"), which refers to any architectural structure sited to take advantage of such a view. more..
In relation to diamond trading, blood diamond (also called a conflict diamond, dirty diamond or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone more..
Boiserie (often used in the plural boiseries) is the term to used to define ornate and intricately carved wood panelling. more..
A bracket is an architectural member made of wood, stone, or metal that overhangs a wall to support or carry weight. more..
Breccia (Italian: breach) is a rock composed of angular fragments of rocks or minerals in a matrix, that is a cementing material, that may be similar or different in composition to the fragments. more..
Brickwork masonry is produced when a bricklayer uses bricks and mortar to build up structures such as walls, bridges and chimneys. Brickwork is also used to finish openings such as doors or windows in buildings made of other materials. more..
Bronze is any of a broad range of copper alloys, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminium, or silicon. more..
Brownstone is a brown Triassic sandstone which was once a popular building material. more..
A buttress is an architectural structure built against (a counterfort) or projecting from a wall which serves to support or reinforce the wall. more..
Byzantine art is the term commonly used to describe the artistic products of the Eastern Roman Empire from about the 5th century until the Fall of Constantinople in 1453. more..
Mosaics were more central to Byzantine culture than to that of Western Europe. Byzantine church interiors were generally covered with golden mosaics. more..
Caltagirone is a town and comune in the province of Catania, on the island (and region) of Sicily, about 70 km southwest of Catania. more..
Carthage refers both to an ancient city in Tunisia and to the civilization that developed within the city's sphere of influence. more..
Chemtou or Chimtou is an antique site in northwestern Tunisia. more..
Chinoiserie refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflects Chinese art and is characterized by the use of fanciful imagery of an imaginary China, by asymmetry in format and whimsical contrasts of scale, and by the attempts to imitate Chinese porcelain and the use of lacquerlike materials and decoration. more..
The Roman Circus, the theatre and the amphitheatre were the most important buildings in the cities for public entertainment in the Roman Empire. more..
A coffer (plural: coffering) in architecture, is a sunken panel in the shape of a square, rectangle, or octagon that serves as a decorative device, usually in a ceiling or vault. more..
In classical architecture, a colonnade denotes a long sequence of columns joined by their entablature, often free-standing, as in the famous elliptically curving colonnades that Bernini added to the facade of Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, which embrace and define the Piazza. more..
Copper is a chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Cu (Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. more..
The Corinthian order (named after the city Corinth, or Korinth) is one of the Classical orders of Greek and Roman architecture, characterized by a slender fluted column and an ornate capital decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls. more..
Cosmatesque style is a style of floor making typical of Medieval era Italy, and especially of Rome and its surroundings. more..
The Cosmati were a Roman family, seven members of which, for four generations, were skilful architects, sculptors and workers in mosaic. more..
A Crow-stepped gable is a stair-step type of design at the top of the triangular gable-end of a building. more..
In Ancient Roman architecture a cryptoporticus (from Latin crypta and porticus) is a covered corridor or passageway. more..
Cupronickel is an alloy of copper, nickel and strengthening impurities, such as iron and manganese. more..
Decoupage (or découpage) is the art of decorating an object by gluing colored paper cut outs onto it in combination with special paint effects, gold leaf, etc. more..
For about a thousand years, the chief magistrate and leader of the Most Serene Republic of Venice was styled the Doge (in ven. Doxe), a rare but not unique Italian title derived from the Latin Dux, as the major Italian parallel Duce and the English Duke. more..
One of the three orders or organisational systems of Ancient Greek or classical architecture characterised by columns which stood on the flat pavement of a temple without a base more..
Dry stone is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. more..
Church architecture or ecclesiastical architecture refers to the architecture of buildings of Christian churches. more..
Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl, colored green by trace amounts of chromium and sometimes vanadium. more..
A facade or façade is generally one side of the exterior of a building, especially the front, but also sometimes the sides and rear. more..
This supplement is extracted extensively from a pamphlet published by the CEGB in 1986 entitled “Cradle of Power – The Story of Deptford Power Stations” and written by Rob Cochrane. more..
The finial is an architectural device, typically carved in stone and employed to decoratively emphasise the apex of a gable, or any of various distinctive ornaments at the top, end, or corner of a building or structure more..
A traditional fountain is an arrangement where water issues from a source (Latin fons), fills a basin of some kind, and is drained away. more..
Garnet is a group of minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. more..
Geison (often interchangeable with somewhat broader term Cornice) is an architectural term of relevance particularly to ancient Greek and Roman buildings, as well as archaeological publications of the same. more..
Gilding is the art of applying a thin layer of gold or something simulating gold to a surface. more..
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture which flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. more..
Greco deco is a term coined by art historian James Goode to describe a style of art and architecture popularized in the late 1920s and 1930s. more..
Greek temples differed from their Roman counterparts in that the colonnade formed a peristyle around the whole structure, rather than merely a porch at the front; and also in that the Greek temple was not raised above ground level on a high podium, but rather stairs on either end. more..
Hematite, also spelled hæmatite, is the mineral form of Iron(III) oxide (Fe2O3), one of several iron oxides. more..
Construction of the Great Mosque at Cordoba (now a Christian Cathedral) beginning in 785 AD marks the beginning of Islamic architecture in the Iberian peninsula and North Africa (see Moors). more..
I Quattro Libri dell'Architettura (The Four Books of Architecture) was published in 1570, in four volumes written by the architect Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), whose name is identified with an architectural movement named after him known as Palladian architecture. more..
Inca architecture is the most significant pre-Columbian architecture in South America. more..
The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and the Corinthian. more..
Isabelline Gothic (in Spanish, Gótico Isabelino), is the name of an architectural style that was developed in Spain, during Isabella of Castile reign (1474 to 1505). more..
Islamic architecture has encompassed a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day, influencing the design and construction of buildings and structures within the sphere of Islamic culture. more..
Islamic calligraphy (calligraphy in Arabic is Khatt ul-Yad) is an aspect of Islamic art that has evolved alongside the religion of Islam and the Arabic language. more..
A jali (or jaali) is the term for a perforated stone or latticed screen, usually with an ornamental pattern constructed through the use of calligraphy and geometry. more..
Lapis lazuli (sometimes abbreviated to lapis) is a semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its intense blue colour. more..
Lead came and Copper foil glasswork are the arts and crafts of cutting colored glass and joining the pieces into picturesque designs. more..
Limestone is especially popular in architecture, and many landmarks around the world, especially in North America and Europe, are made primarily of the material. more..
The Louvre (French: Musée du Louvre) in Paris, France, is the most visited and one of the oldest, largest, and most famous art galleries and museums in the world. more..
The reign of the Mamluks (1250-1517 AD) marked a breathtaking flowering of Islamic art which is most visible in old Cairo. more..
Marble is a nonfoliated metamorphic rock resulting from the metamorphism of limestone, composed mostly of calcite (a crystalline form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3). more..
Mashrabiya, Shanashil is the Arabic term given to a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second storey of a building or higher, often lined with stained glass. more..
In chemistry, a metal (Greek: Metallon) is an element that readily loses electrons to form positive ions (cations) and has metallic bonds between metal atoms. more..
The mica group of sheet silicate minerals includes several closely related materials having highly perfect basal cleavage. more..
Micro mosaics are a special form of the mosaic arts that utilize unusually small mosaic components to craft what often are extraordinarily complex and detailed patterns or images. more..
Modern Islamic architecture has recently been taken on to a whole new level with such buildings being erected such as the Burj Dubai, which is soon to be the world's tallest building. more..
A modern example of mosaic is the Museum of Natural History station of the New York Subway. more..
Construction of the Great Mosque at Cordoba (now a Christian Cathedral) beginning in 785 AD marks the beginning of Islamic architecture in the Iberian peninsula and North Africa (see Moors). more..
Christian mosaic art also flourished in Late Antique and medieval Rome. more..
Beyond the Alpes the first important example of mosaic art was the decoration of the Palatine Chapel in Aachen, commissioned by Charlemagne. more..
Mother of pearl, also known as Nacre , is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks. more..
Mughal architecture is the distinctive style of Islamic, Persian and Indian architecture. more..
Obsidian is a type of naturally-occurring glass formed as an extrusive igneous rock. more..
Opus sectile refers to an art technique popularized in Rome where materials were cut and inlaid into walls and floors to make a picture or pattern. more..
Organic architecture is a philosophy of architecture which promotes harmony between human habitation and the natural world through design approaches so sympathetic and well integrated with its site that buildings, furnishings, and surroundings become part of a unified, interrelated composition. more..
The most numerous and largest of mosques exist in Turkey, which obtained influence from Byzantine, Persian and Syrian-Arab designs. more..
Palladian architecture is a European style of architecture derived from the designs of the Italian architect Andrea Palladio (1508–1580). more..
A pebble is a clast of rock with a particle size of 4 to 64 millimeters based on the Krumbein phi scale of sedimentology. more..
A pediment is a [assical architecture|classical architectural]] element consisting of the triangular section found above the horizontal structure (entablature), typically supported by columns. more..
One of the first civilizations that Islam came into contact with during and after its birth was that of Persia. more..
Phoenicia was an ancient civilization centered in the north of ancient Canaan, with its heartland along the coast of modern day Lebanon and Syria. more..
A piazza is an open square in a city, found in Italy, and also in some other places on the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. more..
A pigment is a material that changes the color of light it reflects as the result of selective color absorption. more..
A pilaster, as used in architecture, is a slightly-projecting column built into or onto a wall. more..
Post and lintel (also called an Architrave) is a simple construction technique, also called "post and beam", where a horizontal member (the lintel) is supported by two vertical posts at either end. more..
A Propylaea, Propylea or Propylaia (in Greek) is any monumental gateway based on the original Propylaea that serves as the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens. more..
Rayonnant is a term used to a period in the French Gothic architectural style circa 1240-1350. more..
Rock-cut architecture is the practice of creating buildings by carving natural rock. more..
Roman bridges, built by ancient Romans, were the first large and lasting bridges built. For a list, see Bridges in Rome. more..
A rosette is a round, stylized flower design, used extensively in sculptural objects from antiquity. more..
Rustication is an architectural term that contrasts with ashlar, smoothly finished, squared block masonry surfaces. more..
Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. more..
Sawley Abbey was an abbey of Cistercian monks in the village of Sawley, Lancashire, in Great Britain. more..
A sconce is a type of light fixture affixed to a wall in such a way that it uses only the wall for support, and the light is usually directed upwards. more..
Sgraffito ("scratched", plural Scraffiti and often also written Scraffito) is a technique either of wall decor, produced by applying layers of plaster tinted in contrasting colors to a moistened surface, or in ceramics, by applying to an unfired ceramic body two successive layers of contrasting slip, and then in either case scratching so as to produce an outline drawing. more..
The Shikumen or literally "stone gate" is a style of housing in Shanghai, China, which blended features of east and west. In the past up to 80% of the city's population lived in these types of houses, but today the proportion is much lower. more..
The first Chinese mosque was established in the 7th century during the Tang Dynasty in Xi'an. more..
Slate is a fine-grained, foliated, homogeneous, metamorphic rock derived from an original shale-type sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash through low grade regional metamorphism. more..
A spandrel (less often spandril or splaundrel) is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure. more..
The Spanish Colonial Revival Style was a United States architectural movement that came about in the early 20th century after the opening of the Panama Canal and the overwhelming success of the novel Ramona. Based on the Spanish Colonial style architecture that dominated in the early Spanish colonies of both North and South America, Spanish Colonial Revival updated these forms for a new century. more..
The term stained glass refers either to the material of coloured glass or to the art and craft of working with it. Throughout its thousand-year history the term "stained glass" was applied almost exclusively to the windows of churches, cathedrals and other significant buildings. more..
Stairs, staircase, stairway, and flight of stairs are all names for a construction designed to bridge a large vertical distance by dividing it into smaller vertical distances, called steps. more..
Stepwells (bawdi) are in essence wells in which the water can be reached by descending a set of steps. more..
One carving is an ancient activity where pieces of rough natural stone are shaped by the controlled removal of stone. more..
Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied wet, and hardens when it dries. more..
In West Africa, Islamic merchants played a vital role in the Western Sahel region since the Kingdom of Ghana. more..
Sugilite (also known as luvulite) is a relatively rare pink to purple cyclosilicate mineral with the complex chemical formula: KNa2(Fe,Mn,Al)2Li3Si12O30. more..
Unlike other types of religious architecture where worship buildings often conform to consistent rules for a given architectural period such as the cruciform plan of Gothic churches, or beehive-shaped shikaras of Hindu temple architecture, dominant styles and periods are not present in the history of synagogue architecture. more..
Derived from the Ancient Greek tainia : "band" or "ribbon", taenia is the latin word for a small "fillet" molding near the top of the architrave in a Doric column. more..
A tessera (plural: tesserae, diminutive tessella) is an individual tile in a mosaic, usually formed in the shape of a cube. Also known as an abaciscus, abaculus. more..
Tiger's eye (also Tigers eye, Tiger eye) is a chatoyant gemstone that is usually yellow- to red-brown, with a silky luster. more..
The tourmaline mineral group is chemically one of the most complicated groups of silicate minerals. Its composition varies widely because of isomorphous replacement (solid solution). more..
Triglyph is an architectural term for the vertically channeled tablets of the Doric frieze, so called because of the angular channels in them, two perfect and one divided, the two chamfered angles or hemiglyphs being reckoned as one. more..
A triumphal arch is a structure in the shape of a monumental archway, in theory built to celebrate a victory in war, actually used to celebrate a ruler. more..
Timurid architecture is the pinnacle of Islamic art in Central Asia. more..
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8•4H2O. more..
A Vault (French. voute, Italian. volta, German. Gewölbe, Polish. sklepienie) is an architectural term for an arched form used to provide a space with a ceiling or roof. The parts of a vault exert a thrust that require a counter resistance. more..
A verandah or veranda is a roofed opened gallery or porch. It is also described as an open pillared gallery, generally roofed, built around a central structure. more..
A Victorian house as built in the United States and Canada is a type of house popularized in the Victorian era. more..
A villa was originally an upper-class country house, though since its origins in Roman times the idea and function of a villa has evolved considerably. more..
Villa Foscari is a patrician villa in Mira, near Venice, northern Italy, designed by the Italian architect Andrea Palladio. more..
A volute is a spiral scroll-like ornament that forms the basis of the Ionic order, found in the capital of the Ionic column. more..
In landscape architecture and garden design, a water feature is any of a full range of fountains, pools, ponds, cascades, waterfalls, and streams. more..
William Morris (March 24, 1834 – October 3, 1896) was an English artist, writer, socialist and activist. more..
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