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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old towns
Older, often historic, sections of cities or towns, generally distinguished from newer parts by clear boundaries and distinctive architecture.

one-room schools
Small educational buildings, generally consisting of one major teaching space, and often built to resemble meeting houses, churches, or dwellings. Use when emphasizing the size or form of such buildings; when emphasizing the function or location of some early examples, prefer "rural schools."

open plan
Plan of a building or city that is arranged to most conveniently accommodate the flow of traffic, activities, or work that goes on inside it, instead of along an axis or radiating from a central point.

open spaces
Spaces in urban environments designed as passages for pedestrians, and as social spaces, not as clearly delimited as parks, but sharing some of the same characteristics. Often these function as utilitarian connecting spaces between buildings, or simply as an open area designated by a municipal authority, but without the amenities or formality of a park.

open-air museums
Carefully selected and situated collections of original buildings designed to illustrate not only the architecture and building forms of a given geographical area and period, but also to recreate the atmosphere and lifestyle.

open-air theaters
Theaters designed with facilities for outdoor performing arts productions.

open-air zoos
Zoos in which many or all of the animals have access to open-air enclosures that resemble the animals' natural habitats, in contrast to early zoos where most animals were confined to relatively small cages. Zoos in which many or all of the animals have access to open-air enclosures that resemble the animals' natural habitats, in contrast to early zoos where most animals were confined to relatively small cages.

opera houses
Concert halls designed specifically to accommodate the production needs of opera performances.

operating rooms
Specially equipped rooms, usually in hospitals, where surgical procedures are performed.

Greenhouses designed to shelter through the winter tropical, and often ornamental, trees such as orange trees, and usually with southern exposure and heating systems.

Farms devoted to the cultivation of fruit or nut trees.

orchestra pits
Sunken spaces in front of the forestage from which an orchestra plays.

orchestras (audience spaces)
In modern theaters, the entire main-floor space for spectators.

organ lofts
Galleries or lofts in which an organ is located, often in a church and intended mainly for use by the organist and choir. It is often connected to the organ, with which it may form a single architectural-decorative structure. In some regions, the organ loft is very large, often consisting of several superimposed levels, and is reserved for men attending Mass. It is usually made of wood or stone, supported by ledges with a parapet and sometimes grilles that conceal the members of the choir. It is usually located in the western portion of the nave, above the main entrance to the church, sometimes supported by the inner door. It may also be located in other parts of the nave, in the arms of the transept, or along the walls of the choir.

oriel windows
Bay windows projecting from an upper floor and not extending to the ground; usually supported by brackets or corbels.

orphanages (buildings)
Buildings that house facilities for the housing and care of orphans, who are children whose parents are either dead or otherwise unable to care for their child.

Detached buildings separate from a main building. Detached buildings separate from a main building.

outdoor cafés
Restaurants designed or utilized for dining outdoors at tables surrounding the building, often with tables placed in a patio or on a sidewalk in an urban area, sometimes with a protective roof or umbrellas sheltering the tables. Outdoor seating may be offered only seasonally as weather permits, with additional seating available indoors.

outdoor sculpture
Sculpture designed to be placed outdoors. For contemporary outdoor works that especially exploit or incorporate aspects of their sites, use "environmental art."

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

outlet stores
Retail stores where manufacturers sell their stock directly to the public through their own branded stores, typically at prices lower than in other stores.

outpatient clinics
Facilities that provide medical treatments outside a hospital on an outpatient basis, that is, without accomodating overnight admissions.

outsider art
Refers to art created or collected according to a philosophy of avoidance of the conventional fine art tradition. The concept generally refers to art that fits the ideal described by Jean Dubuffet, who posited that art should be inventive, non-conformist, unprocessed, spontaneous, insulated from all social and cultural influences, "brut," created without thought of financial gain or public recognition, and based upon autonomous inspiration, in direct contrast to the stereotypes of the traditional or official artistic culture. Dubuffet sought such art in the work of psychiatric patients and other insulated individuals. It is generally distinct from "naive art," which is created by those without formal training, but not necessarily in accordance with the principles described above. It is also typically distinct from "folk art," which is made according to the rules and traditions of a particular culture.

Projections of roofs or upper stories beyond a story immediately below.

Open spaces, such as a cliff, that affords a scenic view or vista.

overmantels (interior wall components)
Panels or ornamental structures situated above mantels.

Highway or railway bridge crossings over some barrier, as another highway or railroad tracks.

Cleared but unpaved areas at the end of runways offering extra landing roll to an airplane in an emergency.

owner-built houses
Houses that have been constructed by the owners rather than by a professional building company or architect, whether or not the plan was designed by a professional architect.

oxbow lakes
Crescent-shaped lakes left in the sites of former river meanders.

oxbows (meanders)
River meanders with extreme curvature such that only a neck of land is left between two parts of the stream.

packing plants
Facility where livestock are slaughtered, processed, and packed as meat products.

pagodas (buildings)
Multistoried shrine-like towers of stone, brick, or wood, usually associated with a Buddhist temple complex and often crowned by hemispherical or bulbous stupa. A pagoda may comprise open stories of balconies or enclosed floors, generally of diminishing size from bottom to top, often capped with corbeled cornices and pent roofs; this form is seen particularly in Japan. The pagoda derives from the stupa of ancient India, which was a dome-shaped commemorative monument, usually erected over the remains or relics of a holy man or king.

paint shops
Accessory industrial buildings where vehicles or machines are painted.

Official residences, frequently large and impressively appointed, of sovereigns or other high dignitaries; for other large stately dwellings but not official residences, use "mansions."

Large and imposing Italian urban dwellings or palatial mansions.

palisades (outworks)
Barriers composed of long stakes, usually with pointed tops, driven into the earth close together, sometimes connected by horizontal beams.

Palladian windows
Windows of large size, characteristic of Renaissance and later classicizing styles, divided by columns or piers resembling pilasters into three lights, the middle one of which is usually wider than the others and is sometimes arched.

palm houses
Greenhouses for growing palms.

panel doors
Doors having stiles, rails, and sometimes muntins that form one or more frames around thinner, recessed or carved panels.

Wall coverings consisting of panels of wood or other material joined in a continuous surface.

Buildings, as prisons, hospitals, or libraries, so arranged that all parts of the interior are visible from a single point.

Temples dedicated to all the gods.

Rooms or closets in which food, groceries, and other provisions, or silverware, dishes, and other items are kept.

paper mills
Facilities that are primarily engaged in the manufacture of paper or paper products, usually from wood, recycled paper, or other fiber pulp. Originally water-driven, modern paper mills are typically powered electrically.

parade grounds
Designates extensive, flat, open spaces used for military exercises, marching, or riding.

paradise gardens
Gardens often provided with shade, flowing water, pavilions, and elaborate plantings for private enjoyment; common in Islamic countries.

Low walls, projecting from the edge of platforms, terraces, or roofs, or surmounting the cornices of a building; also, walls forming the uppermost part of defensive walls or ramparts.

parish churches (buildings)
A parish church is the principal church of a parish, serving the needs of religious administrative districts called "parishes."

parish houses
Buildings in connection with a church used for secular activities.

parish schools
Schools serving or supported by a parish, particularly an ecclesiastical parish and usually providing religious education as well as conventional education.

park districts
Urban or regional administrative areas, within the boundaries of which administrators have responsibility for the maintenance and development of all parks and recreation areas. Urban or regional administrative areas, within the boundaries of which administrators have responsibility for the maintenance and development of all parks and recreation areas.

parking garages
Stacked parking structures comprising a building or part of a building having several stories and designed or used specifically for parking automobiles.

parking lots
Plots of ground used for the parking of vehicles.

parks (grounds)
Enclosed, preserved, and extensive woodland and pasture attached to substantial residences; especially in England and British colonies.

parks (public recreation areas)
Permanently dedicated recreation areas, often open to the public and generally characterized by their natural, historic, or landscape features; often administered by governmental agencies.

Limited access highways located within a park or parklike setting and intended for only passenger cars and noncommercial traffic.

Rooms intended for conversation and the reception of guests in residences, hotels, monasteries, or churches, particularly common in the 19th century. The contemporary living room is similar to the parlor in that often another room is provided for daily family relaxation.

parochial schools (buildings)
Buildings that house elementary or secondary schools operated, controlled, or supported by a church or other religious body.

parochial schools (institutions)
Elementary or secondary schools operated, controlled, or supported by a church or other religious body. While the term literally refers to a school's relationship to an ecclesiastical parish, in common usage, control of the school may instead belong to another division of a church other than parish.

The residences provided for clergymen, usually parsons.

Formally arranged flower beds, planters, or boxed sections of gardens, often set with raised borders and in different shapes.

partitions (interior walls)
Interior walls separating one portion of a space from another; sometimes permanent inside walls that divide buildings into various rooms, sometimes designed to move aside and open up a space. For entities other than walls that divide interior spaces, often incorporating bookshelves, cabinets, or drawers, use "room dividers."

passages (circulation spaces)
Relatively narrow spaces designed to provide access; usually interior spaces.

passenger elevators
Designates elevators primarily used to convey people.

passenger terminals
Transportation buildings with facilities for handling passengers.

passes (landforms)
Refers to narrow routes through or gaps in mountain ranges allowing passage across.

passive solar heating
Solar heating systems that collect and transfer heat by the natural laws of convection, conduction, and radiation with little or no mechanical assistance; for solar heating systems utilizing mechanical devices to transfer heat, use "active solar heating."

Land covered with grass or similar plants and used for grazing livestock.

patent offices
Government offices or office buildings for examining claims to patents and for granting patents.

Narrow walks or ways, typically not constructed like a road, and intended to be traveled by foot.

patios (recreation areas)
Paved roofless areas of relatively small or medium size associated with architecture, such as a roofless recreation area adjoining a house or a roofless inner courtyard open to the sky of Spanish or Spanish-style buildings.

pavilions (building divisions)
Refers to both for the parts of buildings that project outward from the rest, especially common as corner, central, or terminal features in French architecture, and for the detached or semidetached units into which a building (as a hospital) is sometimes divided.

pavilions (garden structures)
Light, sometimes ornamental, structures in gardens, parks, or places of recreation that are used for entertainment or shelter.

pavilions (tents)
Large, stately, or ornamental tents or tent-like coverings, usually rising to a central point rather than a ridge.

peaks (landforms)
The pointed tops of mountains, ridges, or large prominent hills; may also be used, by extension, to refer to prominent pointed mountains.

pedestrian facilities
Elements of the cultural landscape designed for the convenience and safety of pedestrians.

pedestrian malls
Open public areas, walks, or plazas, often lined with trees, shrubs, or shops, reserved for use by pedestrians.

pedestrian streets
Urban streets lined with storefronts and closed off to most automobile traffic.

pedimented dormers
Gabled dormers in which the gable is treated as a pediment.

Triangular gable walls above the horizontal cornice of a classically treated building; also, triangular or roughly triangular elements, sometimes curved, or broken at the center, surmounting porticoes or openings. Common also on furniture, including as bonnet tops.

pendentive domes
Domes with inner surfaces continuous with the surfaces of their pendentives.

Landforms surrounded by water on three sides, not completey independent from the mainland.

penitentiaries (buildings)
Generally refers to buildings housing prisons for those convicted of major crimes.

penitentiaries (institutions)
Generally refers to prisons for those convicted of major crimes. The term derives from the type of prison authorized by the British 1779 Penitentiary Act, enforcing strict discipline and hard labor intended to reform as well as punish. Given that, in modern systems, most prisons include reformatory or correctional functions, the original distinction is lost and the term "penitentiary" often refers to any "prison" in common usage. In the United States, penitentiaries are state or federal prisons that are reserved for the detention of convicted felons.

Pennsylvania bank barns
Barns built into hillsides and generally characterized by stone end walls and a ramp up to a second floor containing crops and machinery which overhangs, on the barnyard side, a first floor kept for livestock.

penthouses (building divisions)
Structures enclosing useful space that constitute the top level of multistory buildings and have walls set back significantly from the walls of the story below; includes quite small structures, surrounded by large areas of flat roof, such as shelters for elevator machinery.

penthouses (roofs)
Sloping roofs placed either against buildings so as to create smaller substructures (such as a sheds or outhouses) or over doorways or windows to protect from the weather.

performing arts buildings
Buildings that are used for public arts performances.

performing arts centers
Buildings or groups of buildings containing auditoriums, multipurpose spaces, and auxiliary facilities suitable for the presentation of various performing arts, such as concerts, operas, and plays.

performing arts structures
Built works used for arts and public performance.

Garden structures with open wood-framed roofs, often latticed, supported by regularly spaced posts or columns; often covered by climbing plants such as vines or roses, shading a walk or passageway. Distinguished from "arbors," which are less extensive in extent and structure.

period rooms
Rooms in museums in which furnishings are displayed within a historically accurate architectural setting.

periodic markets
Markets at which buyers and sellers converge according to a regular schedule; merchants set up temporary stands or tables, usually occupying the same location in the market space and offering the same goods for sale on each occasion.

peristyles (Roman courtyards)
Refers to the court toward the back of a Roman house, commonly with a small garden surrounded by a colonnade.

Shelters or hospitals for those infected with a pestilential or contagious disease.

Large scale low-relief carved, incised, or painted images on living rock, often created by ancient peoples.

physical education buildings
Buildings in which individuals can learn and develop skills in sports, exercises, and hygiene.

piazzas (squares)
In Italian cities and towns, open public spaces usually surrounded by buildings.

picket fences
Fences formed of a series of vertical posts, stakes, or rods, sometimes sharpened at the upper end, which are joined together by horizontal rails.

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