Glossary s


Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. more..


Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km south-east from Greece's mainland. more..

Sawley Abbey

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..


A sculpture is a man-made three-dimensional object intended for special recognition as art. A person that creates sculptures is called a sculptor. 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..


Sikhara, a Sanskrit word translating literally to "mountain peak", refers to the rising tower in the Hindu temple architecture of North India. more..

Sino-Islamic architecture

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..

Solomonic column

The Solomonic column, also called Barley-sugar column, is a helical column, characterized by a spiraling twisting shaft like a corkscrew. more..


A spandrel (less often spandril or splaundrel) is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure. more..

Spanish Colonial Revival Style architecture

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..

St. Peter's baldacchino

St. Peter's baldacchino is a large sculpted bronze artwork designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and located over the high altar of the Basilica of St. Peter in Vatican City. more..

Stained glass

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..


A statue is a sculpture depicting a specific entity, usually a person, event, animal or object. Its primary concern is representational. more..


Stepwells (bawdi) are in essence wells in which the water can be reached by descending a set of steps. more..

Stone carving

One carving is an ancient activity where pieces of rough natural stone are shaped by the controlled removal of stone. more..


Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of ceramic distinguished primarily by its firing and maturation temperature (from about 1200°C to 1315 °C). more..


Stucco is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water which is applied wet, and hardens when it dries. more..

Sub-Saharan African Islamic architecture

In West Africa, Islamic merchants played a vital role in the Western Sahel region since the Kingdom of Ghana. more..


The Sudano-Sahelian is an architectural style common in the Sahel. 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..

Synagogue architecture

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..

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