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Tutorials/Architectural terms

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This page explains a variety of miscellaneous architectural terms. There are no plans to make it a comprehensive list; only those terms which are usable for features at normal Minecraft scales will be covered.


  • Buttress
    • An external support to a wall that prevents it from leaning outwards and collapsing. See Walls and buttresses.
  • Console
    • An ornamental bracket, often used to support a wall fixture, bust or other feature. In Minecraft, a console and a corbel will often be indistinguishable.
  • Corbel
    • Corbels, and the technique of 'corbelling' are used in various ways in architecture. Prior to the development of the methods now used for arches, a corbel arch was a 'fake' arch that just edged the stones out from a wall a little at a time until they met, without changing the shape or orientation of the stones in the ways that would be done for a true arch. 'Corbel' is also a term for a support, usually of stone, that has been keyed into the supporting wall so that it is stronger than a console would be.
  • Dormer
    • A structure on a roof commonly with its own 'mini-roof' above it. See Roof decorations. Also a shortened term for a dormer window, a window within a dormer structure.
  • Embrasure
    • If a wall is partly hollowed out from the inside, this is known as an embrasure. They may be used as a site for arrow slits, or as a firing hole for a cannon, or to broaden the opening around an arch or doorway. See Walls and buttresses.
  • Light
    • The term light is used not only for actual lights, but also for some types of window – hence 'skylight', 'fanlight', 'transom light' and so forth.
  • Monitor
    • A protuding secondary roof running along the roof ridge parallel to the main roof. See Roof types.
  • Mullion
    • A vertical element dividing the sections of windows, doors, or screens, or used decoratively.
  • Pile
    • A heavy beam or post driven vertically into the ground to support the foundations of a very large structure.
  • Slab ceiling
    • This is a Minecraft-specific term for a ceiling made of slabs. These have less disadvantages than slab floors, as the only common ceiling 'furniture' are lights of various kinds, but using a slab ceiling does still impose a limit on the ceiling materials available.
  • Slab floor
    • This is a Minecraft-specific term for a floor made of slabs. These are used with some furniture types, which rely on having a half-height base – a slab – in order to look correct. It also makes it possible to approximate skirting boards using step blocks while staying in scale with the rest of the room. The disadvantage of a slab floor is that only a small number of Minecraft blocks have slab variants available, which limits the possible floor types, and the new carpet tiles cannot be used.
  • Stay
    • A usually nautical term for a rope, wire or rod which helps hold a structure in position. Often used for ships' masts and other very tall, thin structures, and sometimes for certain designs of retaining wall.
  • Transom
    • A horizontal structural beam or bar, or the crosspiece separating a door from a window above it. Also a shortened term for a transom window or transom light.