Residential Space Planning

Architect or interior designer: who should you call?

I often get calls from clients who tell me that they want to change the layout of their homes to better reflect the way they live today, but they aren’t sure whether they should call an interior designer or an architect. I also get calls from home buyers who need help in understanding the potential of a given home before committing to the purchase. The answer, I tell them, may be a Residential Space Planner.

Space Planning is extensively used in office design to achieve the

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California Missions – San Buenaventura

Founded: March 31, 1782 – Ninth Mission

Special Designation: Mission by the Sea

Named For: Saint Bonaventure, a 13th century Franciscan cardinal and renowned philosopher.

Mission Site: The mission was located near the sizeable Indian village of Mitsquanaqa’n with about 500 inhabitants. San Beuenaventura is 70 miles north of Los Angeles in the city of Ventura, which developed around the mission.

Layout: Traditional quadrange, which was still standing as late as 1875.

Mission Church: The first

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California Missions – San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo

Founded: June 3, 1770 – Second of the California Missions

Special Designation: Father of the Alta California Missions

Named For: Saint Charles of Borremeo, a 16th century Italian cardinal.

Mission Site: Originally established at the presidio in Monterey but relocated in 1771 to the Carmel Valley on a hillside that was “two gunshots” from the ocean.

Layout: An irregular shaped quadrangle. Only the ruins of the church remained standing when restoration began in 1921, so extensive excavation of the

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California Missions – San Diego de Alcalá

Founded: July 16, 1769 – First of the California Missions

Special Designation: Mother of the Alta California Missions.

Named For: St. Didacus of Alcalá, a fifteenth century Spanish Franciscan. The Bay of San Diego was discovered in 1542 by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo but named San Diego in 1602 by the explorer Sebatián Vizcaíno, who mapped the coast.

Also Called: Mission San Diego

Mission Site: The mission was originally located on Presidio Hill overlooking the bay, at a location called Cosoy by the natives.

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California Missions – San Fernando Rey de España

Founded: September 8, 1797 – The Seventeenth of the California Missions

Special Designation: Mission of the Valley

Named For: St. Ferdinand, King of Spain in 13th century.

Also Called: San Fernado Mission

Mission Site: Established at the native site of ‘Achooykomenga/Paskeeknga, In a spacious valley on the Spanish grazing concession of Rancho Los Encinos held by Don Francisco Reyes. Whereas the Spanish referred to the region as El Valle de Santa Catalina de Bononia de los Encinos, the Tataviam called

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California Missions – San Francisco Solano

Founded: July 4, 1823 – The Twenty-first and last of the California Missions

Named For: Saint Francis Solano, a Spanish Franciscan who served for 20 years as a missionary in Peru and Paraguay.

Also Called: Sonoma Mission

Mission Site: In the center of Sonoma, 40 miles north of San Francisco.

Layout: Traditional quadrangle, near which the town of Sonoma developed.

Mission Church: The current church is an authentic restoration of the 1840 church, rebuilt in 1911-13 with the support of the Historic

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California Missions – San Francisco de Asís

Founded: October 9, 1776 – The Sixth of the California Missions

Named For: Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Franciscan Order

Also Called: Mission Dolores

Mission Site: Near San Francisco Bay which the Spanish had just begun to explore. (Juan Manuel de Ayala sailed into the Bay in the San Carlos on August 5, 1775). The mission is now located about a half mile from the original site, at present day 16th and Dolores Streets.

Layout: Traditional quadrangle, completed in 1798.

Mission Church: The

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California Missions – San Miguel Arcángel

Founded: July 25, 1797 – 16th of the California Missions

Special Designation: Mission on the Highway

Named For: Saint Michael the Archangel

Also Called: Mission San Miguel

Mission Site: About halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles in the town that developed around the mission. The site was called Valica by the Saliman and Paraje de los Pozos by the Spanish. It was surrounded by level land that was suitable for growing wheat.

Mission Church: The present church, begun in 1816 under the direction

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California Missions – Santa Bárbara

Founded: December 4, 1786 – The Tenth of the California Missions

Special Designation: Queen of the Missions

Named For: Saint Barbara, a legendary martyred church figure of the 3rd century.

Mission Site: In the city of Santa Barbara on a hill commanding a striking view of the sea.

Layout: Santa Barbara was laid out in the traditional quadrangle, with separate granaries, a weavery with patio, tannery, and neophyte housing forming additional courtyard-oriented squares. Many of the exisiting buildings at the

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California Missions – San Rafael Arcángel

Founded: December 14, 1817 – Twentieth of the California Missions

Special Designation: Mission of Bodily Healing.

Named For: Saint Rafael, patron of good health and travelers.

Mission Site: 15 miles north of San Francisco at the native site of ‘Anaguani. Since San Rafael was intended to be a “hospital” asistencia, a key consideration was that the location be in a sunnier and more protected environment than San Francisco, which was foggy, damp and windy. The original mission buildings were razed in

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California Missions – Santa Clara de Asís

Founded: January 12, 1777 – Eighth of the California Missions

Named For: Saint Claire of Assisi, a 13th century Italian nun, cofoundress with San Francis of the Order of Poor Clares or Clares.

Also Called: Mission Santa Clara

Mission Site: Located on the southern end of San Francisco Bay in Santa Clara, on a site originally chosen by Jan Bautista de Anza, the Spanish Pathfinder. The site was originally founded as La Mision de Santa Clara de Thamien at the Costanoan village of Socoisuka on the Guadalupe River. The

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California Missions – Santa Cruz

Founded: August 28, 1791 – Twelfth of the California Missions

Named For: The Exaltation of the Holy Cross of Christianity

Mission Site: On a bluff in the city of Santa Cruz, near the mouth of the San Lorenzo River and the native site of Uypi on the Monterey Bay. Moved to this location in 1793.

Layout: Traditional quadrangle with a large garden and orchard near the mission.

Mission Church: The current mission chapel is a well-executed smaller one-third scale replica of the 1795 mission church. It was erected

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California Missions – Santa Inés Virgen y Martír

Founded: September 17, 1804 – The Nineteeth of the California Missions

Special Designation: Mission of the Passes

Named For: Saint Agnes of Rome, a thirteen year-old Roman girl martyred in A.D. 304

Also Called: Santa Inés

Mission Site: An inland mission, Santa Inés was established near a rancheria, Alajulspu, in the Santa Inéz Valley and sits on its original site. It is on the eastern edge of the town of Solvang, founded in 1911 by a group of Danish educators. Note that the name of the valley and the town

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Crazy House (Dalat, Vietnam)

Tumbling out of the imagination of architect Dang Viet Nga, Hang Nga’s Guesthouse and Gallery is…well…all sorts of crazy, from its rustic tree-like base with spiderweb windows to winding, nook-and-cranny laden interior that promises to keep you guessing at every turn. The artsy designer and daughter of Vietnam’s former president tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit by wisely charging admission to the storybook structure, knowing full well that spectators would happily gobble up its funhouse like details, including seemingly melting

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The Mushroom House (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Sprouting up in Cincinnati’s Hyde Park section, professor of Architecture and Interior Design Terry Brown – along with his students – hand crafted this one bedroom residence throughout a period of 14 years until its completion in 2006, at which time it was put on the market for $525,000. Sadly, Brown met his untimely demise just two years later in a car accident, but his Mushroom House – constructed with multiple types of metals, tinted glass, ceramics, wood and shell – serves as his most outstanding legacy and one of

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Eliphante (Cornville, Arizona)

An exercise in artistically imaginative organic architecture, this dwelling – built into 3 acres of natural Arizona landscape by husband-wife team Michael Kahn and Leda Livant – would likely trigger Seussian envy in Theodor Geisel himself. Consisting of five separate hand-crafted structures linked together by their shared idiosyncratic themes, the main living quarters are housed within Eliphante and connected to a meditation zone, art gallery, bath house, sculpture garden and wading pond. Raw materials were scavenged from the desert and

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Ideal Palace (Hauterives, France)

Throughout a 33 year period, rural postman Ferdinand Cheval – who lacked any architectural background whatsoever – collected all the individual stones necessary to create his elaborate carved limestone and shell studded structure via pocket, basket and wheelbarrow. Incorporating a bizarre conglomeration of architectural styles inspired by Hindu and Biblical mythology as well as Algerian, Northern European and Chinese elements, he finally completed his outstandingly quirky monument just one year before his death in 1924 at the age of 88.

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On Classical columns, there is an ovolo under the abacus. When this is decorated with egg-and-dart or egg-and -anchor it is called an echinus. In modern times, the ovolo is often called an echinus even when there is no design.

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Drip Mold

A projecting string, hood, or molding over doorways, arches, windows, and niches, first installed to direct rainwater away from the opening. Dripstones can be very ornate. They don’t generally extend past the spring of an arch.

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A gable end window that pierces through the sloping roof of a bedroom area. (Dormer is French for sleep.)

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Doric Order

The oldest and simplest of the three original Greek orders, the Doric is characterized by a plain column with no base, a shaft with twenty flutings, and a simple capital comprised of an echinus or ovolo, and an equally simple entablature. A Doric entablature generally includes Triglyphs and Metopes.

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The entrance to a building, or an apartment in a building. Since the middle ages, the doorway is a striking and important feature of the building showing clearly the style. The size of the doorway and the door surround are important.

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Door Surround

A continuous concrete, wooden, brick, metal or stone “border” around a door that is designed to complement the style and enhance the style of the building.

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Any roof structure that is curved and spans an ultimately circular base. Squinches and pendentives are used to provide a circular base on a square or rectilinear tower.

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The use of two colours of tile, brick, or slate used on a surface is termed dichromatic. Slate roofs on churches around 1900 often had dichromatic tiling. Gothic Revival cottages often have dichromatic brickwork to provide a pattern.

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An even series of rectangles used as ornament to decorate cornices of classical buildings and fireplace mantels. First found in Greek architecture 400 B.C., the dentil can be found on almost any Classical style building.

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A domed or curved roof rising from a building as a decorative element. or a concave ceiling covering a circular or polygonal area. A cupola can be mistaken for a dome.

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Home Remodeling Projects – Hot New Kitchen Trends – Part 2

Update your kitchen with some of the hottest interior decorating trends.

Consolidated Activity
As houses get smaller, kitchens are carrying more responsibility. Today’s kitchen is still the hub of the home, and also a spot that’s big on multitasking.

But packing all the functionality into one area takes some coordination. Space-saving solutions often include banquette seating, hideaway laundry appliances (inside pantries or behind veneer panels), and small, built-in workspaces that allow parental

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Hot New Kitchen Trends – Part 1

Update your kitchen with some of the hottest interior decorating trends.

Kitchens are a tricky room to update or decorate because it can be outrageously expensive getting new counter tops, flooring, appliances and accessories. But not all kitchen decorating projects need to be all-inclusive. Approach a kitchen decorating project with a reasonable budget and a good foundation of knowledge in kitchen trends. Knowing what is cutting edge trendy versus last year’s trendy can stretch a kitchen decorating budget much further and keep the

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Kitchen Cabinets

New cabinets can enhance your kitchen’s appearance, add value to your home and improve how your kitchen functions. Selecting your cabinets may seem intimidating at first, given the large number of styles, types, materials and accessories to choose from. This buying guide will help you understand the many factors to consider so you can feel confident you’re selecting the kitchen cabinets that best meet your individual style and storage needs.

First Steps
Explore cabinet style and become familiar with the

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Jorn Utzon (1918 – 2008)

Pritzker Prize-Winning Architect of the Sydney Opera House, Jorn Utzon was perhaps destined to design buildings that evoke the sea. Utzon’s father was director of a shipyard in Alborg, Denmark, and was a brilliant naval architect. Several family members were excellent yachtsmen, and the young Jørn became a good sailor himself.

Utzon has created a style marked by monumental civic buildings and unobtrusive housing projects. He incorporates the balanced discipline of Asplund, the sculptural quality of Alvar Aalto, and the organic

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Louis Sullivan (1856 – 1924)

Louis Sullivan is widely considered America’s first truly modern architect. Instead of imitating historic styles, he created original forms and details. Older architectural styles were designed for buildings that were wide, but Sullivan was able to create aesthetic unity in buildings that were tall.

Sullivan’s designs generally involved a simple geometric form decorated with ornamentation based on organic symbolism. As an organizer and formal theorist on aesthetics, he propounded an architecture that exhibited the spirit

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Robert A.M. Stern (1939 – Present)

New York architect Robert A. M. Stern takes history to heart. A postmodernist, he creates buildings that express affection for the past. Stern served on The Walt Disney Company Board of Directors from 1992 to 2003 and has designed many buildings for The Walt Disney Company.

Robert A.M. Stern’s Boardwalk at Disney World suggests an American seaside village from the early 20th century. The buildings illustrate the evolution of architectural styles from the Victorian to the Vienna Secessionist movement. The mini-village is not

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Eero Saarinen (1910 – 1961)

Finnish-American Architect

Whether designing furniture, airports, or grand monuments, Eero Saarinen was famous for innovative, sculptural forms.

Eero Saarinen began his career designing furniture in collaboration with Charles Eames. Their work was featured in the 1940 exhibition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” at the The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Although Eero Saarinen’s early education was grounded in Art Nouveau, he was drawn to the streamlined International Style. However,

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California Missions – La Purísima Concepción

La Purisima is the most fully restored mission, with over 20 buildings. Restoration was done between 1934-42 by the National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps. The mission is a frequent site of reenactments and encampments.

Founded: December 8, 1787 – The Eleventh of the California Missions

Special Designation: Sometimes referred to as the “Linear Mission.”

Named For: Mary, the Mother of Jesus. (Also Called La

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LA Architecture Tour – Masters of 20th-Century Residential Architecture

These three historic residences have short hours, so it’s important to start on time in order to visit all three places. Also, this day on the itinerary lets you see the homes in the order they were built.

Begin in Pasadena at the Gamble House. Designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene, this 1908 bungalow (at 6,000 sq. feet, hardly what we think of as a bungalow) is perhaps one of the finest examples of the Craftsman style in the world, incorporating broad horizontal lines, Asian influences and, most of all, an incredible use of

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LA Architecture Tour – Classic Architecture

Walking tour begins at Downtown LA’s Union Station. The last of the great rail stations (opened 1939) and carefully restored to its full glamour, Union Station is a romantic blend of Spanish Mission, Moorish and Streamline Moderne elements. Imagine glamorous movie stars rushing across the elaborate marbled floor to catch a train east.

Walk down Alameda Street to Temple Avenue, west to Main Street to LA City Hall. The landmark has been recently restored (post-earthquake necessity). Built in 1928 in a quirky mix of styles, the top of

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LA Architecture Tour – Pritzker Prize-winning Architecture

Often called the “Nobel Prize of Architecture,” the international Pritzker Prize is given to one living architect annually to honor his or her body of work. Today’s itinerary takes you to Los Angeles architectural masterpieces designed by three Pritzker Prize-winning architects.

Start at the southwest corner of Main and 1st Street in Downtown LA. CalTrans District 7 Headquarters sounds like a snooze until you discover that Thom Mayne and his firm, Morphosis, designed this modern wonder. CalTrans calls the 13-story structure

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LA Architecture Tour – Landmarks and Tour Companies

From Spanish Revival historic landmarks to homes and other buildings that span more than a century of design by the world’s most lauded architects, LA has so much superb architecture.

Downtown Los Angeles’ El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument (125 Paseo de la Plaza) features several Spanish Mission-style historical buildings around a plaza. The focal point of the area is the Avila Adobe, the city’s oldest building, off of which runs Olvera Street, a pedestrian street full of mariachi bands, Mexican food and craft

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Stargazing in L.A.- Cemeteries

Almost everybody who visits L.A. hopes to see a celebrity, but celebrities usually don’t cooperate. There is, however, an absolutely guaranteed method to approach within 6 feet of many famous stars. Cemeteries are the place for star (or headstone) gazing: The star is always available, and you’re going to get a lot more up close and personal than you probably would to anyone who’s actually alive. Here is a guide to the most fruitful cemeteries. If you’re looking for someone in particular, log on to

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Ethnic Neighborhoods – Los Angeles

Los Angeles has the highest concentration of Mexicans outside Mexico, Koreans outside Korea, and even Samoans outside Samoa. Tiny Russian, Ethiopian, Armenian, and even British enclaves also coexist throughout L.A. But to call the city a “melting pot” wouldn’t be quite accurate; it’s really more of a tossed salad, composed of distinct, albeit overlapping, cultures.

Boyle Heights
East of Downtown; bounded by U.S. 101, I-10, Calif. 60, and Indiana St.
In the first decades of the 20th

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Teapot Dome Gas Station, Zillah, WA, USA (1922)

This little funny looking gas station was built in 1922, intended to be a reminder of the Teapot Dome Scandal involving President Warren G. Harding and a federal petroleum reserve in Wyoming. Said to be the oldest gas station in use in the country, it survived partially because it was moved years ago, to be closer to the interstate. It is no longer in operation.

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Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt (1998)

The New Library of Alexandria is dedicated to recapture the spirit of openness and scholarship of the original Bibliotheca Alexandrina. It is much more than a library containing three Museums, a planetarium, seven academic research centers, and nine permanent exhibitions. This vast complex receives more than 800,000 visitors a year.

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ING Headquarters, Amsterdam, Netherlands (2002)

As a headquarters building, it was required to represent the ideals of the company, which are transparency, innovation, eco-friendliness, and openness. The shape of the building has earned a few nicknames for it – “shoe”, “space ship”.

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The Church of Hallgrimur, Reykjavik, Iceland (1945 – 1986)

A Lutheran parish church that in addition to being very unusual is also a very tall one, reaching 244 ft in height. This Lutheran parish church is the fourth tallest architectural structure in Iceland. It is named after the Icelandic poet and clergyman Hallgrimur Petursson. The church took 38 years to build and is also used as an observation tower.

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Henry Hobson Richardson (1838 – 1886)

Famous for designing massive stone buildings with semicircular “Roman” arches, Henry Hobson Richardson developed a late Victorian style that became known as Richardsonian Romanesque, a style featuring semicircular “Roman” arches set in massive stone walls.

During his short life, Henry Hobson Richardson designed churches, courthouses, train stations, libraries, and other important civic buildings.

Henry Hobson Richardson is known as the “First American Architect” because he broke away from

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Renzo Piano (1937 – Present)

Pritzker Prize-Winning Architect.

Renzo Piano was born into a family of builders. His grandfather, father, four uncles, and brother were contractors. Renzo Piano payed honor to this tradition when he named his architecture firm Renzo Piano Building Workshop.

Renzo Piano is often called a “High-Tech” architect because his designs showcase technological shapes and materials. However, human needs and comfort are at the center of Piano’s designs.

Critics note that Piano’s work is rooted in the

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A (very brief) Guide to Seville

Seville, the capital of the Spanish community of Andalusia, is one of the oldest cities in Europe. Its architecture is a reflection of its tumultuous history with long spells of occupation by the Romans and later the Moors.

In the 16th century, after the reconquista by the Christians the city reached its Golden Age thanks to a monopoly on trade with the New World. Many of the city’s magnificent landmarks such as the Cathedral, the Royal Alcazar and Golden Tower were built earlier, in the 13th and 14th

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A (very brief) Guide to Saint Petersburg

Saint Petersburg was founded in 1703 by Tsar Peter the Great. During the following two centuries, when Saint Petersburg was the capital of Russia, the city quickly developed into one of the world’s most magnificent cities thanks to the construction of impressive edifices such as the Winter Palace, the Admiralty, the Mariinsky Theater and St. Isaac’s Cathedral.

Despite the many monumental buildings the city has an unmistakable charm thanks to the numerous channels and bridges which give Saint Petersburg a romantic

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Crests were used to identify both the owners of buildings and the professions that were practiced within buildings. A coat of arms, family crest, or city crest can be found on a building either within a pediment, on a lintel, under a bracket or on a wall.

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Also crenellation, these are a series of depressed openings, like a battlement, but with more space between the openings. A crenelle (or kernel) in medieval times was an opening in a battlement, a loophole through which arrows and missiles could be launched.

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Cornice Return

This deviation from the normal pediment design started in the Baroque age. In Neo-Classical Ontario architecture, cornice returns are frequently employed as a decorative element on the end of a gable or pediment, and also above doorways.

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Cornice Bracket

These are brackets that hold the cornice in place. Modillions hold up the corona, and are sometimes used on cornices as well. The brackets are often paired.

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An open area enclosed by walls or rooms, not accessible to the general public. Usually there is a wrought iron, brick, or stone fence around the areas not confined by buildings.

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An interior or exterior meeting of two walls, facades, or surfaces, be they square, curved or stepped. Corners can be very ornate.

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A (very brief) Guide to Venice

Venice is one of those cities that are truly unique. Once the center of a powerful maritime empire, Venice is a city dotted with magnificent palaces and churches. Mostly devoid of cars and modern buildings, time seems to have stood still here. The city is located in the middle of a lagoon and is dissected by about 150 channels.

Predominant Architecture:
The city’s architecture is unique, a mixture of Gothic and Byzantine styles. If you are into modern art, the world-renown Biennale exhibitions is held

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