The following terms have been used in the text of this document and are briefly described here.

Accordion (wall)
A moveable wall partitioning system comprised of slender fabric or wood covered vertical fins connected with flexible material in a zig zag pattern and designed to open and close like the baffles of an accordion.

Banister (or baluster)
A handrail for a staircase.

Barrel vault
A curved structural vaulting system with a semi-circular cross section.

An important school of art, craft and architecture (originating in an arts and crafts school in Weimar in 1906) and influential building in Dessau Germany, designed by Walter Gropius in 1925-26 (closed in 1932) critical to the origins and spread of the Modern Movement.

The regularly spaced primary structural module of a building.

Bay window
A polygonal projecting element from the wall surface, usually an extension of the internal floor level and containing windows.

The shaped relief profile usually a piece of wooden finish material or cladding either at its mid point or at the edge joint of a tongue and groove piece.

A shaping of the topography to create a level area (bench) on a sloping site, usually as the location for a building’s foundation or a level terrace area.

Board and batten
A cladding system where the joints between vertical wooden boards, often rough cut, are covered by slender wooden boards or battens.

A term coined in the UK in 1954 for a type of modernist architecture characterized by the extensive use of concrete (from the French beton brut, for concrete).

Butterfly (roof shape)
A roof shape where two shallow pitched planes meet at a low intersection and project upwards towards the edge of the building.

Sloped or shaped.

A horizontal projection, usually of a roof or structural element beyond its support or fulcrum point.

Channel siding
Wooden siding milled with a rectangular groove, or channel, usually next to the edge where the board meets the adjacent board in a overlapping pattern.

A window or band of connected windows high on a wall, often just below the eave.

A projecting decorative elements at the top of the wall surface; the uppermost part of an entablature, which is composed of an architrave, a fascia and a cornice.

Critall windows
A brand of English steel framed windows often with fixed or casement sash; frequently associated with the slender horizontal banding of strip windows characteristic of much Modern Movement architecture.

Curtain wall
A system of wall cladding largely made up of glass and metal (steel, aluminum or bronze) which is attached to the exterior of a building’s framing like a skin or curtain; it is usually not structural, save for its ability carry its own weight.

The horizontal projection of a roof beyond the wall.

Exposed aggregate
A finish of concrete, often paving or wall cladding, where the outer layer of concrete is removed by mechanical means to expose the stone aggregate as a decorative finish, with a pebbled effect.

An aspect of Modern Movement architecture where the building structure is expressed in a deliberate way, often in experimental roof forms.

The narrow horizontal trim band usually found at the roof edge.

The pattern and rhythm of windows in a facade

Folded plate (Bent Plate) roof shape
A system of roof framing characterized by flat planes being folded or bent to form a zig zag shape in elevation and cross section.

Form-cast (cast in place) concrete
A concrete structural system where cement is poured into molds or formwork and allowed to harden (cure). As distinct from pre-cast concrete.

Knife edge
The tapering of the thickness of a floor structure (often concrete) to a slender edge which is a visible and intentional design element emphasizing slimness and horizontality.

International Style
A term coined by the exhibit of the same name at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1932 for the modern architecture emerging in Europe between the wars. The style is noted for its cubic forms, lack of decoration or mouldings, flat roofs, horizontal bands of windows and overall whiteness.

Laminated (GluLam) beam
A system of engineered structural timber beams manufactured with layers of wood glued together (laminated) for strength, economy and the ability to span long distances.

Le Corbusier
Born Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (1887-1966), Le Corbusier (or Corbu) was one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, noted for his buildings, planning and furniture design.

Lift slab
A system of concrete construction where one floor slab is used as the base formwork for another which is poured on top. The various layers are then lifted into place usually supported by a steel framing system.

Lozenge shape
The shape of a floor plan which tapers to the edges.

Massey Medal
A design award program established in 1950, under the auspices of Governor General Massey and conferred on notable works of architecture until 1970.

A style of late modernist architecture, often found on the West Coast, where modern wooden shapes are evocative of the vertical shaft heads of mining and industrial buildings.

Monopitch (monocline)
A roof shape characterized by an inclined slope in one direction.

Mosaic tile
Very small ceramic or glass tiles used to form a decorative pattern.

A support member between adjacent windows.

A slender division bar between two panes of glass in a window sash.

The vertical projection of a wall above the adjacent roof level.

Parabolic (arch)
An arch in the shape of a parabola.

Paraboloid (roof shape)
A roof form which is a parabola in cross section.

A flat vertical decorative element slightly protruding from the wall surface; often an expression of the internal structural bay system of a building, although not necessarily performing any structural work.

The base or plinth of a building, often expressed as a horizontal plane extending beyond the building’s structure.

Post and beam
A system of timber construction making use of a regular framework of slender vertical columns and horizontal beams, the spaces on the exterior often being filled with sheets of glass or wooden cladding.

Precast concrete
Concrete pieces of a building’s structure manufactured off site in a controlled environment and brought to the site for assembly by mechanical means. Distinct from cast-in-place concrete.

Reeded glass
Glass panels formed with a narrow linear pattern of ribs or reeds to obscure visibility while admitting light.

Radiant heating
A system heating often used for in-floor heating, where tubes are cast into the concrete floor slab into which hot water is pumped to warm the floor.

A concept of design holding that “there exist in certain regional “schools” whose primary aim has been to reflect and serve the limited constituencies in which they are grounded” (Frampton, Modern Architecture: A Critical History).

Slab on Grade
Concrete floor slab cast directly onto grade.

The non structural wall area usually below a window, sometimes of glass to resemble the overall window pattern.

Split level
A form of building design where one level is a half level above or below another and connected by short flights of stairs.

Strip windows
The grouping of windows into horizontal strips to give a linear effect, characteristic of modern architecture.

A highly polished cast-in-place marble and aggregate concrete floor material; a variety of speckled patterns and colours are possible.

The horizontal window area above a large window, door.

Veneer (brick)
The external non-load bearing skin of a building made of brick (or masonry) units

Building forms based on local precedent, materials and building traditions, usually not formally designed.