SAH Archipedia uses terms from the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) to categorize and classify metadata for the entries in the database. For more information on the Getty AAT, click here.

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labor camps
Refers to penal colonies where the prisoners are obliged to undertake heavy labor. Refers also to residential camps for migratory workers.

Rooms, buildings, or groups of buildings equipped with apparatus for scientific experiments or other research, testing, and investigations.

labyrinths (built works)
Structures of any material having a plan consisting of a number of intercommunicating passages arranged in bewildering complexity, through which it is difficult or impossible to find one's way without guidance. The term was derived from structures so-named in classical Antiquity, perhaps derived from "labrys" (Greek for "double axe" or "place of the double axes"), because the structures were labeled with the sign of a double-axe. The earliest use of the term is usually associated with the mythical labyrinth at Knossos, Crete, in which Theseus killed the Minotaur.

lady chapels
Major chapels dedicated to the Virgin Mary, usually located in the axis of a church at its east end.

lagoons (bodies of water)
Bodies of shallow water separated from the sea by a barrier, such as a sandbar or coral reef.

lake channels
Navigable parts of lakes between islands, shoals, etc.

lake dwellings
Dwellings constructed in lakes on artificial islands or along lakesides often on wooden platforms over marshy ground, characteristic of prehistoric Europe, especially Switzerland, northern Italy, Ireland, and Scotland.

Spaces, land, or part of a city or town on the edge of a lake.

lakes (bodies of water)
Bodies of fresh or salt water surrounded by land.

lakeshores (landforms)
Refers to land that verges on a lake. In extended use the term is used to describe administrative regions or landmasses on or in the vicinity of a lake, or recreational areas that include lake access.

Posts usually supporting outdoor lamps or lanterns.

Living spaces open in part to the outdoors.

lancet arches
Pointed arches whose curves are struck from centers farther apart than the span of the arch.

lancet windows
Slender windows with lancet arches at the top, common in Gothic architecture.

Dumps where refuse is collected, usually low-lying ground, and often as a means to reclaim the land.

landings (marine structures)
Refers to various structures built for loading or unloading goods or embarking or disembarking passengers onto and off of watercraft.

landings (stair components)
The platforms between flights of stairs, or at the termination of a flight of stairs.

landmark buildings
Buildings that serve as points of reference because their height, siting, distinctive design, use, historic significance, or other feature sets them apart from surrounding buildings. Examples may include churches and town halls.

Conspicuous monuments, fixed objects, or markers that serve as guides in the direction of one's course, characterize a neighborhood, or establish the location of land boundaries or property.

landscape architecture (discipline)
Branch of architecture concerning the design of the scenic environment, including the development and planting of all types of planned outdoor green spaces, often with accompanying structures and roadways, outdoor public areas, landmarks, and structures with the aim of creating a natural setting for human structures and settlements. For the planning discipline concerned with the physical environment and any and all human involvement with it, with the objective of assuring proper habitat for people, animals, and plants and the resources on which they depend, use "environmental design." For the development and decorative planting of gardens and grounds in particular, use "landscape gardening."

landscape gardens
Grounds laid out so as to produce the effect of natural scenery.

landscapes (environments)
Broadly used to describe portions of the earth's surface that share common repeating characteristics that can be comprehended at a glance. Landscapes are more than scenery or political units; they are systems of natural and cultural contexts. If possible use a more specific term.

lanterns (lighting devices)
Lighting devices, fixed or portable, designed to protect and enclose the light source, usually with sides of glass, horn, pierced metal, paper, or other material, allowing light to emerge and often having a supporting frame, hanging device, or carrying handle. They may be purely utilitarian or decorative, sometimes having ceremonial significance.

lanterns (roof appendages)
Windowed superstructures crowning a roof or dome, and serving to give light or air to the space below; the term is also used to refer to such structures, whether or not they provide light. For small structures built on the ridges of roofs, common in American architecture, use "cupolas."

Latin cross plan
Plan of buildings and cities in the shape of a Latin cross, having three short arms and one long arm.

Detached structures in public contexts containing one or more seats and a pit serving as toilets; distinguished from "outhouses" which are similar structures in domestic contexts. For rooms that are within buildings and have such simple facilities, use "privies."

No description is available for this term.

launch complexes
Facilities at which rocket, missile, or spacecraft launches are conducted, usually having launch pads, equipment, and various buildings.

laundries (businesses)
Commercial establishments where laundering is done.

lavatories (rooms)
Rooms containing a sink and toilet, but neither tub nor shower.

law schools (buildings)
Buildings that house graduate schools that teach law and the legal profession, with the object of producing professional lawyers, scholars of law, or other professionals.

lawn cemeteries
Cemeteries characterized by open expanses of turf with flush markers, particularly those dating from the late 19th-century.

lawns (landscaped grass)
Areas of cultivated grass or other ground cover maintained for aesthetic quality or recreation.

leaded lights
Pieces of glass, usually rectangular or lozenge-shaped, set into lead cames to form a window.

Freestanding structures with a single-pitched roof leaning against two posts or trees. For similarly roofed minor structures built against the side of buildings use "appentices."

lecture halls
Large rooms with fixed seating, designed for lectures. For large rooms designed for activities such as concerts or plays and requiring a large stage, see "auditoriums."

legislative buildings
Buildings housing the legislative bodies of a government.

Embankments built to prevent flooding of low-lying land. For embankments built to control or retain flood waters of rivers or seas, use "dikes."

libraries (buildings)
Buildings set apart to contain books for reading, study, or reference, typically with shelves containing books and tables and seating for users of the library.

libraries (institutions)
Institutions that curate a collection of books, periodicals, and other materials, organized to provide physical, bibliographic, and intellectual access by the public or members of a group.

libraries (rooms)
Rooms located in homes or other buildings and containing books for reading, study, or reference, typically with shelves for the books and a desk or table for users of the library.

libraries (rooms)
Rooms located in homes or other buildings and containing books for reading, study, or reference, typically with shelves for the books and a desk or table for users of the library.

No description is available for this term.

life-saving stations
Buildings erected in coastal areas to house men, lifeboats and equipment to aid shipwreck victims; usually maintained by volunteers or government agencies.

lift bridges
Bridges with a section or sections lifted vertically between towers by counterweights or cables.

light courts
Courts or recesses serving primarily to provide light or ventilation to windows along the walls; for very small courts used primarily for ventilation, use "air shafts."

light stations
Complexes consisting of a light house and various support buildings and structures, such as keepers quarters, boathouses, fog signals, cisterns, and workshops.

light wells
Shafts designed to admit light to the interior rooms of a building.

Towers or other structures equipped with a powerful light or lights (originally a signal fire) at the top, erected at important or dangerous points on or near the coast for the guidance of mariners.

lights (window components)
Describes the compartments of windows or window sashes through which daylight may pass; for the divisions of openings each consisting of a single plate of glass, use "panes (architectural elements)."

lime kilns
Furnace-type apparatus, usually long, tilted cylinders, that are slowly rotated; used to heat calcium carbonate above 900 degrees centigrade to produce lime.

Processing facilities for making lime, historically consisting of rows of lime kilns, tracks, and associated mine structures.

limited access highways
Roads for which points of entrance and exit for traffic are controlled by limiting the number of access roads.

linear accelerators
Designates structures in which electrons, protons, or heavy ions are accelerated along a straight line by the action of alternating voltages.

listed buildings
In the United Kingdom, buildings placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. Such buildings are deemed to have unique architectural or historical importance, as identified through periodic surveys; they are protected from demolition or alteration.

livery stables
Stables that board horses and carriages for hire.

living history museums
Open-air museums in which archaeological evidence and scholarly research inform the reconstruction, restoration, or recreation of the original site.

living rooms
Rooms in contemporary residences used for entertaining guests, reading, watching television, or other activities, generally more formal than a den but serving a wider range of activities than a 19th-century parlor.

loading docks
Areas specially equipped for loading and receiving items onto and from motor vehicles or railroad cars parked adjacent.

Large halls serving as entrance spaces in public buildings or as anterooms, especially to legislative chambers. For entrance spaces in private houses, use "entrance halls."

local historic districts
Historic districts established and maintained by local units, such as a county, city, village, or township.

locker rooms
Rooms equipped with lockers, often having showers and toilets and sometimes used as dressing rooms, as in clubhouses and gymnasiums.

lockkeepers' houses
Houses placed at canal locks to provide basic shelter for the lockkeeper.

locks (hydraulic structures)
Enclosed chambers with gates at each end connecting higher and lower sections of artificial waterways for transferring watercraft from one level to another.

lodges (caretakers' houses)
Subordinate buildings on the grounds of estates or parks used as the individual dwellings for employees, such as caretakers or gatekeepers. For structures located at the entranceway to the grounds, and which may or may not contain habitation spaces, use "gatehouses."

lodges (Native American structures)
Use generally to refer to various types of Native North American dwellings and ritual buildings, usually with regard to Plains Indians tribes; when possible use a more specific term.

lodges (public accommodations)
Main buildings of some resorts or public parks containing accommodations and other public facilities.

lodges (temporary residences)
Self-contained residences generally set in forests or other wilderness areas and designed for temporary, short-term use during special events, such as while on hunting or fishing excursions.

lodging houses
A house, other than an inn or hotel, in which rooms are rented.

loft buildings
Buildings of several floors with large areas of unobstructed space, originally rented for light industrial purposes and now frequently converted to residential occupancy.

lofts (upper level floors)
Large upper-level floor spaces directly below the roof of commercial buildings or warehouses, originally unpartitioned but often modified for secondary use; may also be used for domestic sleeping or storage platforms set close to ceilings or roofs and open to and overlooking a living space below. For enclosed spaces under sloping roofs, between the roof and the ceiling of the uppermost story, especially in houses, use "attics (interior spaces)." For substantial interior spaces at the level of an upper story, usually extending the full length or width of rooms, use "galleries (upper level spaces)."

log (wood)
The unhewn portion of a felled tree, including a length cut off for use as firewood, construction, or another purpose.

log cabins (houses)
Distinguished from "log houses" by being generally more crudely built of timbers left round and joined at the corners by overlapping saddle-shaped notches.

log houses
Distinguished from "log cabins" by being generally larger and better built of carefully hewn timbers neatly notched at the corners.

Covered, roomlike spaces, open to the outdoors usually through arcades or colonnades; may be contained within or adjacent to buildings.

longhouses (multiple dwellings)
Large, rectangular, multifamily dwellings housing related families in separate compartments entered off long corridors; equipped with individual or communal hearths.

Short wood framing members nailed to the sides of joists or rafters to extend a roof or floor beyond an exterior wall line.

lost villages
Settlements of relatively small size for which precise locations are no longer known.

lots (land)
Parcels of land with fixed boundaries occupied or capable of being occupied by one building or use, including accessory buildings, and not divided by any public highway or alley. Distinguished from "plats (land)," because plats tend to be somewhat larger than lots and are often in the countryside, while lots are typically smaller and located within a settlement.

lounges (sitting rooms)
Informal sitting rooms, as in hotels, theaters, airports, and institutional buildings.

low cost housing
Housing whose ultimate cost to the occupant is low, generally due to assistance from government subsidies. Distinguished from "low income housing," which refers to the mandated low income of the occupants rather than the low cost of the units.

low income housing
Housing units available to occupants whose income does not exceed certain maximum income limits set by local housing authorities. Distinguished from "low cost housing," which refers to the subsidized low rent of the units rather than the low income of the occupants.

low-rise buildings
Buildings of five stories or fewer accessible by stairs only; commonly applied to apartment houses and some commercial buildings.

Figures that are squares or rhombuses rotated to have their corners on the horizontal and vertical axes. Common as an isolated motif, in a diaper pattern, or in a running series.

lumber camps
Groups of houses or tents and associated facilities designed as a residence for loggers who are temporarily in a forest to cut down and transport timber.

lumber sheds
Structures or other shelters designed or used for the storage, drying, or curing of lumber.

lumberyards (buildings or lots)
Lots or buildings used for storage, cutting, and sale of lumber and wood-related products, particularly lumber used in construction and home improvement.

Small restaurants or snack bars serving light daytime meals or snacks that are ready to serve or quickly prepared.

Rooms provided for eating meals, particularly at a work place, school, or other such establishment where many people spend the day away from home; the the food is often brought from elsewhere, but prepared food may also be offered for sale.

lyceums (buildings)
Buildings, usually having lecture rooms, class rooms, and a library, and housing specialized institutions typically devoted to the instruction of adults.