Glossary
61 entries | 1 to 61 shown
access gallery
A corridor that is usually to one side that is open to the exterior either within the volume of the building or as an external attachment.
alternate level corridor
An access system where the corridor does not occur at every floor; also referred to as “skip-stop”.
alternate position corridor
An access system where the corridor does not occur in the same position in the section at each floor; usually a skip-stop type with some kind of split-level section.
atrium house
The entrance space in a Roman house, often used to describe a dwelling built around or enclosing a regular courtyard.
back-to-back
Either kitchen/bath sharing one plumbing wall in one dwelling or separate dwellings backing up to a common plumbing wall; also identical dwellings, right and left, backing up to each other.
Bakema section
Refers to a split-level, alternative position, alternate level, corridor section derived from a Berlin housing project of 1964 by van den Broek & Bakema.
balcony
A small outside private space, usually attaching to the main volume of a building, similar to but distinct from a “terrace” (see terrace).
brise-soleil
A French term popularized by Le Corbusier in the 1930's. Translates to "sun-break" referring to to a system of external blinds or other devices designed to keep the sun off of glass walls.
circulation system/access system
The network of individual unit access in a multi-level building, vertical and horizontal including building entrances, elevators and stairs, hallways, and individual dwelling entrances.
closed wall
A building façade either entirely without openings or with only minor openings or windows.
common lobby
A lobby used by all units either as in a tower or as repeating access cores for a lower building. Also called “point-access”.
courtyard
A private garden space usually enclosed by dwelling on at least two sides.
deep unit
A dwelling which is long and narrow.
double orientation
Apartment that has openings on two sides, usually the ends.
double orientation 90°
Apartment with openings on one end and one side.
double-height/2-story high/double volume
A dwelling with a two-story high space, usually the living room.
double-loaded corridor
A corridor with dwellings on each side
dumbell plan
Dwelling typified by concentration of service elements on interior with major spaces at the ends.
duplex
An apartment that occupies two floors. Same as maisonette. Europeans use maisonette, USA uses duplex.
Durand section
Term given to a multi-level terraced building type based on an alternative-level corridor system as derived from Le Corbusier’s 1934 project of the same name.
ell-shaped unit
Dwelling which forms an “L” in plan
Existenzminimum
Translates as minimum existence; term applied to minimum dwelling type developed in Frankfurt in the 1920’s. Also, infers broader sociological condition of minimum workers dwelling; often used as a pejorative term to describe less that adequate or simply routine repetitive dwelling.
high density
High population per unit of land area usually expressed in number of people per acre/hectare or number of dwelling units (DU) per acre/hectare.
high rise
Tall building with elevators, usually refers to height above about 10 floors.
immeuble plan/section
An ell-shaped dwelling with a two-story high living room and a connecting large terrace, arranged in a skip-stop section type, as derived from Le Cobusiers “immeubles-villas” projects.
interlocking units
Apartments that overlap either in plan or section.
longitudinal stair
Stair runs parallel to the long side of the dwelling.
low density
Low population per unit of land area (see high density)
maisonette
Diminutive of “maison”, literally translates as small house or cottage; describes an apartment with two levels like a little house; maisonette in Europe; duplex in USA; frequently with a two-story high space.
matte housing
Repetitive, courtyard housing, typical low density, high coverage; grid-like.
multiple family dwelling
Housing other than single-family dwelling building, with multiple occupancy
non-corridor
Direct dwelling access from vertical circulation system; also point-access.
one/two/three/four BR
Number of bedrooms
open-ended unit
Dwelling that has main openings at each end, i.e. an infill, party-wall condition.
party wall
A condition where adjacent buildings share a common wall but are separate buildings; also called “infill” buildings; usually requires that each building is structurally independent, common usage in perimeter block systems.
pilotis
A French term popularized by Le Corbusier in the 1920's and 30's that translates to "pillars", refering to an open structural frame on the ground floor of a building. Le Corbuseir first articulated this concept in the Maison Domino in 1914 and "les pilotis" was included in his "Les 5 Points d'une Architecture Nouvelle" in 1926.
pinwheel plan
Plan organization that has a pinwheel configuration.
point access
Form of building access that consists of a repeating vertical core of elevators and stairs serving one or more dwellings per floor.
rowhouse
Independent dwellings, side by side, usually 2-3 floor high, each with private entrance and internal vertical circulation.
seidlungen
German term for garden apartments, but more typically used to describe any large housing project of repetitive buildings; frequently used to describe groups of “zeilenbau” housing.
semi-private access
Access usually directly from vertical circulation where the entrance is to 2 to 4 dwellings per floor.
service spaces
Kitchen and bath; but can also be “servant spaces” which includes the “wet” zone of kitchen and bath, the elevators and stairs, and vertical ducts and piping.
shallow unit
Dwelling which is wide and shallow
single orientation
Dwelling that has windows only along one side
single-loaded corridor
Plan organization where all the dwellings are along one side of the access corridor.
skip-stop corridor
Corridor system where the corridors do not occur at every level, the elevator, therefore, skips stops or floors. Usually used with a system of maisonettes or flats and internal stairs that connect to corridor floors.
slab
Refers to a multi-floor building of long rectangular volume.
slipped slab
A condition where slabs are slipped past one another producing a dislocated effect in plan, a strategy often used to reduce the “zeilenbau” effect of a long, undifferentiated building.
split level
Dwellings with multiple levels but usually with one-half floor separation between levels.
staggered plan
Building plan that steps back or jogs, a strategy to increase peripheral surface and potential windows or to provide windows for kitchens and baths required under some building codes.
studio apartment/bed sitter
A dwelling without a bedroom where the bed usually doubles as a couch; “bedsitter” common term in England.
terrace
Private outside space usually immediately accessible from living spaces of dwelling, also implying a sloping, stepped terraced condition, also an outside space that is within the volume of the building (see balcony).
terrace housing
Housing on a sloping site or housing where each unit opens to a terrace space formed by the top of the dwelling below. Also a name given to English rowhouses. Also used to describe a multi-level building built in a terraced form.
tower
Usually a tall, free-standing building organized with dwellings clustered about a central lobby and vertical access core.
transverse core
An arrangement where the stair and/or services are perpendicular to the long side of the dwelling.
two-story unit/maisonette/duplex
An apartment with two floors (see maisonette, duplex).
unit/apartment/dwelling unit/D.U.
Name given each domicile in multi-family housing.
unité plan/section
A long, two-story dwelling in an alternate level corridor configuration as derived from Le Corbusier's unité d'habitation at Marseilles, 1952.
up and down stairs
Private stairs leading up or down from a corridor level to dwellings above or below, used in skip-stop corridor section types.
walk-up
Multi-story housing accessible only by stairs.
zeilenbau
German term, translates as building in a line; usually applied to housing slabs several stories high, arranged in parallel rows open at the ends in an east-west orientation, type commonly associated with functionalist/neue sachlichkeit housing projects of the 1920’s beginning in Germany but used in many countries. Also used as a pejorative term to describe any organization of minimalist housing slabs arranged in parallel, open-ended rows; also applied to a single minimalist east/west slab with blank ends and minimal detail.
List all by: Project Name | Architect | Building Type | City | Country

©2002 Roger Sherwood. All Rights Reserved
http://www.housingprototypes.org