Contributed by Mr Denis Duffy


Facing –  The finishing applied to the outer surface of a building.

Façade (Fr) –  Exterior face of a building.

Fan light – (i) A modern window, often semi-circular, over a door, in Georgian and Regency buildings, with radiating glazing bars suggesting a fan,

(ii) Also, less commonly, the upper part of a window hinged to open separately.

Fascia or  Facia – (Latin Facias = a face) – A broad fillet band or face, used in classical architecture, sometimes by itself but usually in combination with mouldings.  Architraves are frequently divided into two or three fasciae, each of which projects slightly beyond that which is below it.

Fenestration – The arrangement of windows in a building


Folly –  A costly but useless structure built to satisfy the whim of some eccentric and thought to show his folly; usually a tower or a sham Gothic or classical ruin in a landscaped park intended to enhance the view or picturesque effect.

Footing of a wall – Projecting courses of stones at base for giving stability.

Foyer – The vestibule or entrance hall of a theatre.

Framed building – A structure whose weight is carried by the framework instead of by load-bearing walls.  The term includes modern steel and REINFORCED CONCRETE structures, as well as TIMBER FRAMED. (half- timbered).

In the former the frame is usually encased within a facing (or cladding) of light material; in the latter the in filling may be of WATTLE AND DAUB or of brick.

Frieze – The decorated band along the upper part of an internal wall, immediately below the cornice.

Functionalism – The dictum “form follows function” uttered by the American architect Louis Sullivan at the end of the 19th century has guided many architects since.

The creed of the architect or designer who holds that it is his primary duty to see that a building or an object designed by him functions well. Whatever he wishes to convey aesthetically and emotionally must not interfere with the fitness of the building or object to fulfil its purpose.