Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Architect: Topic Page
Person qualified to design buildings and to supervise their erection.
Architecture: Topic Page
The design of the visual appearance of structures; their internal arrangements of space; selection of external and internal building materials; design or selection of natural and artificial lighting systems, as well as mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems; and design or selection of decorations and furnishings.
Brick: Topic Page
Ceramic structural material that, in modern times, is made by pressing clay into blocks and firing them to the requisite hardness in a kiln.
Cement: Topic Page
Binding material used in construction and engineering, often called hydraulic cement, typically made by heating a mixture of limestone and clay until it almost fuses and then grinding it to a fine powder.
Concrete: Topic Page
Structural masonry material made by mixing broken stone or gravel with sand, cement, and water and allowing the mixture to harden into a solid mass.
Insulation: Topic Page
Use of materials or devices to inhibit or prevent the conduction of heat or of electricity.
Iron: Topic Page
Iron is a lustrous, ductile, malleable, silver-gray metal found in Group 8 of the periodic table.
Steel: Topic Page
Alloy of iron, carbon, and small proportions of other elements. Iron contains impurities in the form of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, and manganese; steelmaking involves the removal of these impurities, known as slag, and the addition of desirable alloying elements.
Wood: Topic Page
Botanically, the xylem tissue that forms the bulk of the stem of a woody plant. Xylem conducts sap upward from the roots to the leaves, stores food in the form of complex carbohydrates, and provides support; it is made up of various types of cells specialized for each of these purposes.
Furniture: Topic Page
Movable functional items such as tables, chairs, and beds needed to make a room or a home more comfortable and easier to live and work in.
Interior decoration: Topic Page
Adornment of the interior of a building, public or domestic, comprising interior architecture, finishing, and furnishings.
Lighting: Topic Page
Light produced by artificial means to allow visibility in enclosures and at night.
Stained glass: Topic Page
In general, windows made of colored glass. With the development of medieval architecture, stained glass assumed a unique structural and symbolic importance.
Wallpaper: Topic Page
Was used in Europe in the 16th and 17th cent. as an inexpensive substitute for costly hangings.
Aqueduct: Topic Page
Any artificial channel or conduit for water, originally applied to water supply tunnels, but later used to refer to elevated structures of stone, wood, or iron carrying navigable canals across valleys.
Bridge: Topic Page
Structure that provides a continuous path or road over water, valleys, ravines, or above other roads.
Canal: Topic Page
Artificial waterway constructed for drainage, irrigation, or navigation.
City planning: Topic Page
Process of planning for the improvement of urban centers in order to provide healthy and safe living conditions, efficient transport and communication, adequate public facilities, and aesthetic surroundings.
Dam: Topic Page
Structure built across a river to hold back a body of water (called a reservoir) in order to prevent flooding, provide water for irrigation and storage, and provide hydroelectric power.
Fortification: Topic Page
System of defense structures for protection from enemy attacks. Fortification developed along two general lines: permanent sites built in peacetime, and emplacements and obstacles hastily constructed in the field in time of war.
Fountain: Topic Page
Natural or artificially conveyed flow of water. In ancient Greece columnar shrines were built over springs and dedicated to deities or nymphs.
Garden: Topic Page
Land set aside for the cultivation of flowers, herbs, vegetables, or small fruits, for either utility or ornament.
Housing: Topic Page
In general, living accommodations available for the inhabitants of a community.
Irrigation: Topic Page
In agriculture, artificial watering of the land. Although used chiefly in regions with annual rainfall of less than 20 in. (51 cm), it is also used in wetter areas to grow certain crops, e.g., rice.
Town planning: Topic Page
The design of buildings or groups of buildings in a physical and social context, concentrating on the relationship between various buildings and their environment, as well as on their uses.
Tunnel: Topic Page
Passageway through a mountain, under a body of water, or underground.
Zoning: Topic Page
Legislative regulations by which a municipal government seeks to control the use of buildings and land within the municipality.