Originally this element was the wooden overhang of the roof. Translated to stone, brick, iron, and steel, it became any projecting shelf at the top of a ceiling, roof, or pediment. These can be highly decorated.

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Also known as crow- steps, these are the step-like decoration along the upper edge of a gable in Flemish, Dutch, Scottish and Art Nouveau designs. The uppermost step is called the crow-stone.

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Corbels are used to support cornices, turrets, brackets, ribs and oriel windows. A corbel is also a stone or piece of wood that supports a superincumbent weight.

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A free standing vertical structural member of a building that supports either a roof, a porch, or a decorative architrave. See also Capital, Shaft, Base, or Scotia. Composite, Corinthian, Doric, Ionic and Tuscan are the basic types.

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A regular series of columns in a straight line or creating a curve or circle. These generally indicate a classical design, but are also used on modern structures.

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This term can apply to columns, capitals or façades. It means a mixture of two or sometimes, three, of the major styles: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian.

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A (very brief) Guide to Budapest

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, was formed at the end of the 19th century when the 3 cities Pest, Buda and Óbuda merged but its history goes back more than 1,000 years.

The city may be known for its thermal baths but there are also plenty of other attractions such as the vast Buda Castle, the majestic Chain Bridge and the romantic Fisherman’s Bastion.

Predominant Architecture:
Budapest’s Classicist, Romanesque, Gothic and Art Nouveau architecture is predominantly shaped by the works of

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A (very brief) Guide to Hong Kong

In 1841 Hong Kong Island – not much more than ‘a barren island with few houses’ – was ceded to the British.
In 1997 negotiations between Britain and China resulted in the handover of Hong Kong back to China. Under the credo ‘one country, two systems’, Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region (S.A.R.) of China.

Hong Kong is a dazzling commercial city where east meets west. The lack of space in Hong Kong has led to the largest concentration of tall buildings in the world, even ahead of

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A (very brief) Guide to Barcelona

Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. The city combines modern and historic architecture in a unique way.

The modernist movement of which Gaudi was the most prominent exponent left its mark on the city with magnificent buildings like the Sagrada Familia, Casa Milà and Casa Batlló.

Predominant Architecture:
Don’t let anyone tell you that Barcelona’s architecture is simply about Gaudí. The three predominant architectural styles to be found in

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A (very brief) Guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, even though neither the Dutch government nor the head of state resides in Amsterdam. The largest city in the Netherlands is also the country’s biggest tourist-draw.

Most of Amsterdam’s top attractions date from the city’s heyday during the seventeenth century when it was a financial and political powerhouse. Most of the cities’ famous canals and harmonious architecture stems from this era.

Predominant Architecture:
The dominant styles in

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A (very brief) Guide to Agra

Agra, in Uttar Pradesh is a city full of history. Once the capital of the Moghuls, Agra can boast a number of marvelous buildings, the most magnificent and well known being the Taj Mahal. Besides this mausoleum, one of the greatest buildings on earth, there are other attractions in Agra like the massive Agra fort and Akbar’s mausoleum.

Agra is located in the western corner of the northern province Uttar Pradesh. Together with Delhi and Jaipur, the city forms the ‘golden triangle’, India’s most popular tourist

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A (very brief) Guide to Prague

Known as the “golden city of spires,” Prague in the Czech Republic has architectural splendors that span a thousand years. During the Middle Ages, Prague was the most important city in Central Europe. After emperor Charles IV had all the city gates’ roofs covered with lead, Prague was dubbed the ‘Golden City’. It would remain one of the most influential cities in Europe until the 20th century.

Today ‘the City of a Hundred Spires’ is a magnet for tourists, with numerous magnificent towers,

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Glenn Murcutt (1936 – Present)

Architect and Environmentalist

Australian architect Glenn Murcutt pours his creativity into small, economical projects that conserve energy and blend with the environment.

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect Glenn Murcutt is not a builder of skyscrapers. He doesn’t design grand, showy structures or use flashy, luxurious materials. Instead, Australian architect Glenn Murcutt pours his creativity into smaller projects that let him work alone and design economical buildings that will conserve energy and blend with the

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Oscar Niemeyer (1907 – Present)

Brazilian Modernist

From his early work with Le Corbusier to his beautifully sculptural buildings for Brazil’s new capital city, Oscar Niemeyer shaped the Brazil we see today. He became a leader in the Brazilian communist party and spoke out in defense of liberal governments. Although Niemeyer often said that architecture cannot change the world, many critics say that his idealism and socialist ideology defined his buildings.

Oscar Niemeyer was awarded the AIA Gold Medal in 1970. In 1988, when Niemeyer was 80 years old,

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Richard Neutra (1892 – 1970)

Pioneer of the International Style

Born and educated in Europe, Richard Neutra introduced the International Style to America, and also introduced Los Angeles design to Europe. His firm designed many office buildings, churches, and cultural centers, but Richard Neutra is best known for his residential architecture.

Homes designed by Richard Neutra combined Bauhaus modernism with Southern California building traditions, creating a unique adaptation that became known as Desert Modernism. Neutra’s houses were dramatic,

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Torres KIO (Madrid, Spain)

Architects: Philip Johnson and John Burgee
Year: 1996

Torres KIO are two twin office buildings in Madrid. Each building is 115 m tall with an inclination of 15º. These twin towers are the world’s first leaning high-rise buildings.

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Experience Music Project (Seattle, WA)

Year: 2000
Architect: Frank Gehry

Experience Music Project(EMP) was founded by Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft. It is a museum of music history sited near the Space Needle and is by one of the two stops on the Seattle Center Monorail, which runs through the building. The museum contains mostly rock memorabilia and technology-intensive multimedia displays. The structure is also home to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Designed by Frank Gehry, the building resembles many of his firm’s sheet-metal construction

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Rotating Tower (Dubai, UAE)

Year: 2010
Architect: Dr. David Fisher

We have seen tall buildings, we have seen strange buildings, but have you seen buildings in motion that actually change their shape?

Visionary architect Dr. David Fisher is the creator of the world’s first building in motion – the revolutionary Dynamic Tower. It will adjust itself to the sun, wind, weather and views by rotating each floor separately. This building will never appear exactly the same twice.

In addition to being such an incredible engineering miracle it

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Device to Root Out Evil (Vancouver, Canada)

First exhibited in the 1997
Architect (artist): Dennis Oppenheim
It was too hot for New York City; too hot for Stanford University. But a controversial, imposing sculpture by renowned international artist Dennis Oppenheim finally found a public home in laid-back Vancouver.
A country church is seen balancing on its steeple, as if it had been lifted by a terrific force and brought to the site as a device or method of rooting out evil forces.

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Puzzling World (Otago, New Zealand)

Architect: Stuart Landsborough
Year: 1973

Puzzling World is a tourist attraction, started out as just a maze in 1973, but over the years expanded to accommodate a “puzzling café” where guests could try out several puzzles, rooms with optical illusions, the and other things.

One of the biggest attractions is the leaning tower. The Leaning Tower of Wanaka is, as the name implies, a tower that is seemingly impossibly balanced on one corner, making the whole structure lean at an angle of 53 degrees to the ground. Exactly

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Low impact woodland house (Wales, UK)

Architect: Simon Dale

The house was built by the owner with help from passers by and visiting friends. It was built with maximum regard for the environment. It is one part of a low-impact or permaculture approach to life, doing things simply and using appropriate levels of technology.

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Turning Torso (Malmö, Sweden)

Architects: Santiago Calatrava
Year: 2005

The tower reaches a height of 190 metres (623 feet) with 54 stories. The design is based on a sculpture by Santiago Calatrava called Twisting Torso. It uses nine segments of five-story pentagons that twist as it rises; the topmost segment is twisted ninety degrees clockwise with respect to the ground floor.

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Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles, CA)

Architects:Frank Gehry
Year: 1987 – 2003

Walt Disney Concert Hall is designed to be one of the most acoustically sophisticated concert halls in the world providing an unparalleled musical experience. The project was launched in 1987 and completed in 2003.

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Blur Building (Switzerland)

Architects: Diller Scofidio + Renfro
Year: 2002

Years have passed since expo 2002 but this building is still a favorite. It’s the mist that makes it so unusual and amazing at the same time. So called ‘blur pavilion’ with self generated mist was meant to give an impression that the building is floating above the water without any structural support.

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Office center “1000″ (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Architects: Adomaitis, Babrauskas, Siaurodinas, Jocys.
Year: 2005-2008.

The image of the LTL 1000 banknote is brought onto this building using special enamel paint. Money theme well represents various businesses located in this building. It’s an office center located in the second biggest city in Lithuania. By the way, banknote dates back to 1925. However it’s not used nowadays.

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A column used as a decorative element on the side or jamb of a window or door, or a decorative element in a compound pier.

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A rectangular or square recessed area in a ceiling. Sometimes these emphasize the roof beams; other times they are carved, molded, or ornately decorated.

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A timepiece or clock mounted on a stand alone tower or tower-like portion of a building. Clocks have traditionally been attached to municipal buildings and buildings of community significance.

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Any row of windows that is above eye level and allows light into a room. This is also the term for the upper level of Gothic cathedrals above the triforium.

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A fillet or ring of moldings that separates either the base of a column from the shaft or the shaft of the column from the capital.

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The stone, metal or masonry of a fireplace that extends up from the fireplace through the roof and carries the smoke outside.

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There are many styles of chateaux all originating in France. The most renowned are those in the Loire valley built during the late medieval and Renaissance periods between 1300 and 1600. See also Palazzo.

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The top interior finish of a room which hides the structure and support of the roof. Ceilings can be painted, stuccoed, carved, or covered with tin plate, gold, or sculpture.

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Any decoration on a building to make it look like a castle, usually a notched or indented parapet originally for protection so inhabitants could shoot through the openings in combat. See also crenellation and battlement.

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This Greek column design is taken from the Erectheum in Athens (450 B.C.). The women of Carya refused to be taken as slaves by the advancing Greeks. For this they were immortalized in the columns that support the porch. Since then, any column with robed women can bear the same name.

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Taken from the French name for a scroll of paper, this is an ornament from the late Renaissance or Baroque era that bears the name of the building’s patron on a paper with rolled up edges.

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A caprice is a design element that is whimsical, light, and fanciful

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Brutalism (1960 – 1970)

Brutalism was a response to the glass curtain wall that was overtaking institutional and commercial architecture in the 1960s. The style originated in England but quickly expanded to other countries as it afforded an attractive and relatively inexpensive solution to weather and climate control conditions in large buildings, as well as a finish that was less vulnerable to vandalism. The 1960s and 1970s were years of great expansion in universities and public buildings, and this is where the Brutalist style is most often found. The development

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Edwardian Classicism (1900 – 1920)

By 1900, most architecture was reflecting a revival of some sort from pre-Victorian times, (see Period Revivals, Colonial Revival, Classical Revival, Gothic Revival). Like the Georgian and Regency Styles, Edwardian Classicism is associated with the reign of an English monarch. Edward VII, son of Queen Victoria, reigned between 1901 and 1910. The style is a precursor to the simplified styles of the 20th century.

Edwardian Classicism provides simple, balanced designs, straight rooflines, un-complicated ornament, and relatively

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Mies van der Rohe (1886 – 1969)

Bauhaus Architect

Believing that “less is more,” Mies van der Rohe designed rational, minimalist skyscrapers that set the standard for modernist design.

The United States has a love-hate relationship with Mies van der Rohe. Some say that he stripped architecture of all humanity, creating cold, sterile and unlivable environments. Others praise his work, saying he created architecture in its most pure form.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe began his career in his family stone-carving business in Germany. He never

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Adolf Loos (1870 – 1933)

Europe’s Modernist Architect

Adolf Loos was an architect who became more famous for his ideas than for his buildings. He believed that reason should determine the way we build, and he opposed the decorative Art Nouveau movement.

Adolf Loos was impressed by the efficiency of American architecture, and he admired the work of Louis Sullivan. In 1898, he opened his own practice in Vienna and became friends with philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, expressionist composer Arnold Schönberg, satirist Karl Kraus, and other

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Week 7: Energy-efficient Lighting

Artificial lighting:
Replacing your incandescent light bulbs with the EnergyStar rated compact fluorescent variety all over the house can save you $100 per year, according to the Partnership for Advancing Technology in Housing (PATH).

True, buying new bulbs does take an initial investment, but Compact Fluorescent light bulb is a simple way of making a big change at a low cost in the energy efficiency of your home. Most home improvement stores carry these bulbs, which use 70 percent less energy than regular

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Week 6: Extra-strength insulation in the wall and attic

Have you bothered to look around your attic space to see if all areas contain insulation? Even a small area with limited or no insulation — or even insulation that has been damaged or compressed — can significantly decrease overall effectiveness. The U.S. Department of Energy says that adding insulation to the attic is relatively easy and very cost effective.

To find out if you have enough attic insulation, measure the thickness of the insulation. If it is less than R-22 (7 inches of fiber glass or rock wool or 6 inches of

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Week 5: Green Seal-certified paints

Do you know what one of the top 5 leading health risks are in the US according to the EPA? Try indoor air.

That’s right, the air in your house. And one of the leading causes of that problem are the paints, varnishes and solvents we use containing VOC’s. VOC stands for Volatile Organic Compound and has been a key component of the composition of oil based paint and can be a problem even in traditional latex based paints.

Exposure to VOC’s in paint can trigger asthma attacks, eye irritation and respiratory

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Week 4: Eco-friendly finishes

Many flooring, cabinetry, countertops and other interior finishing materials Such as Formaldehyde-free flooring and cabinets, natural linoleum floors, etc. can also be considered green. Although not all products will carry a certification label, many are still considered ecologically friendly based on the raw materials that are used, the ability to recycle the end product and their low VOC (volatile organic compound) emissions.

Bamboo, cork and eucalyptus flooring products are all excellent choices for the home as they are sustainable

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Week 3: Water, water, water…

You may love the forceful flow of water at your faucets, toilets and showerheads, but did you know that installing aerators on them could cut your annual water consumption by more than half?

Toilets installed 15 years ago use more than twice the amount of water than the newer low-flow models. Even if you have older toilets, however, you can adjust your float valves to permit a lower water flow into the tank.

New toilets have redesigned bowls and tanks that use less water but function more efficiently than first-generation

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Week 2: Energy Star Appliances.

What is already in place in your home that could be a drain on energy? Is it that old refrigerator in the garage? Did you know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that one older appliance (such as your trusty old fridge) can cost you as much as $150 more per year than an energy-efficient model? Plan a budget to slowly replace all your “energy hog” appliances with new energy saving models and you’ll thank yourself later on.

If you are in the market to upgrade any of your major appliances, consider purchasing

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Week 1: Effective Heating and Cooling

Water Heaters:
On demand water heaters (Tankless) eliminate the need for a tank of hot water to be kept heated at all times, plus a solar water heater on the roof. Every day you get about 40 gallons of hot water for free. Tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand at a preset temperature rather than storing it, which reduces or eliminates standby losses. Replacing an electric water heater with a solar model can reduce costs by up to 80 percent a year, and over the 20-year lifespan of the appliance will prevent

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