Spandrel


Spandrel
Illustration of spandrel
Spandrel figures
Spandrel panels
Open-spandrel bridge, 1888

A spandrel, less often spandril or splaundrel, is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure.

There are four or five accepted and cognate meanings of spandrel in architectural and art history, mostly relating to the space between a curved figure and a rectangular boundary - such as the space between the curve of an arch and a rectilinear bounding moulding, or the wallspace bounded by adjacent arches in an arcade and the stringcourse or moulding above them, or the space between the central medallion of a carpet and its rectangular corners, or the space between the circular face of a clock and the corners of the square revealed by its hood. Also included is the space under a flight of stairs, if it is not occupied by another flight of stairs. This is a common location to find storage space in residential structures.

In a building with more than one floor, the term spandrel is also used to indicate the space between the top of the window in one story and the sill of the window in the story above. The term is typically employed when there is a sculpted panel or other decorative element in this space, or when the space between the windows is filled with opaque or translucent glass, in this case called spandrel glass. In concrete or steel construction, an exterior beam extending from column to column usually carrying an exterior wall load is known as a spandrel beam.[1]

The spandrels over doorways in Perpendicular work are generally richly decorated. At Magdalen College, Oxford is one which is perforated. The spandrel of doors is sometimes ornamented in the Decorated period, but seldom forms part of the composition of the doorway itself, being generally over the label.

Because arches are commonly used in bridge construction, spandrels may also appear in those structures. Historically, most arch spans were solid-spandrel, meaning that the areas between arches were completely filled in — usually with stone — until the advent of steel and reinforced concrete in the 19th and 20th centuries. Open-spandrel bridges later became fairly common, where thin ribs were used to connect the upper deck to the bridge arches, resulting in significant savings in material and weight, and therefore in cost. The Roman Trajan's Bridge across the Danube is one of the oldest examples. Reinforced-concrete open-spandrel bridges were fairly common for crossing large distances in the 1920s and 1930s.

Spandrels can also occur in the construction of domes and are typical in grand architecture from the medieval period onwards. Where a dome needed to rest on a square or rectangular base, the dome was raised above the level of the supporting pillars, with three-dimensional spandrels called pendentives taking the weight of the dome and concentrating it onto the pillars.

See also

References

Sources

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainChisholm, Hugh, ed (1911). Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 

Notes


External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Spandrel — steht für: Spandrel (Biologie), ein evolutionsbiologisches Nebenprodukt AT 5 Spandrel, eine sowjetische Panzerabwehrrakete Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselben Wort bezeichneter Beg …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Spandrel — Span drel, n. [From {Span}.] 1. (Arch.) The irregular triangular space between the curve of an arch and the inclosing right angle; or the space between the outer moldings of two contiguous arches and a horizontal line above them, or another arch… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • spandrel — (n.) late 15c., triangular space between the outer curves of an arch, apparently a diminutive of Anglo Fr. spaundre (late 14c.), perhaps aphetic of espandre to expand, extend, from L. expandre (see EXPAND (Cf. expand)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • spandrel — ► NOUN Architecture ▪ the almost triangular space between the curve of an arch, a wall or an adjoining arch, and the ceiling or framework above. ORIGIN perhaps from Old French espaundre expand …   English terms dictionary

  • spandrel — [span′drəl] n. [ME spaundrell, dim. of Anglo Fr spaundre < OFr espandre, to expand < L expandere, EXPAND] 1. either of the triangular spaces between the exterior curve of an arch and a rectangular frame or mold enclosing it 2. any of the… …   English World dictionary

  • spandrel — /span dreuhl/, n. 1. Archit. an area between the extradoses of two adjoining arches, or between the extrados of an arch and a perpendicular through the extrados at the springing line. 2. (in a steel framed building) a panellike area between the… …   Universalium

  • spandrel — n. Archit. 1 the almost triangular space between one side of the outer curve of an arch, a wall, and the ceiling or framework. 2 the space between the shoulders of adjoining arches and the ceiling or moulding above. Phrases and idioms: spandrel… …   Useful english dictionary

  • spandrel — also spandril noun Etymology: Middle English spandrell, from Anglo French spaunder, from espandre to spread out more at spawn Date: 15th century 1. the sometimes ornamented space between the right or left exterior curve of an arch and an… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • spandrel — noun a) The space (often triangular) between the outer curve of an arch (the extrados) and a straight sided figure that bounds it; the space between two contiguous arches and a straight feature above them b) The triangular space under a stair;… …   Wiktionary

  • spandrel — span·drel || spændrÉ™l n. space located between two side by side arches; space between the edge of a postage stamp and the circular/elliptical design printed on the stamp …   English contemporary dictionary


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.