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Bay (architecture)

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Bay (architecture)

In architecture, a bay is the space between architectural elements, or a recess or compartment. Bay comes from "Old French baee," meaning an opening or hole.


  1. The spaces between posts, columns, or buttresses in the length of a building, the division in the widths being called aisles. This meaning also applies to overhead vaults (between ribs), in a building using a vaulted structural system. For example, the Gothic architecture period's Chartres Cathedral has a nave (main interior space) that is "seven bays long." Similarly in timber framing a bay is the space between posts in the transverse direction of the building and aisles run longitudinally.
  2. The openings for windows in a wall. For example, in Georgian style, at Mulberry Fields, the building is described as a "5 bay by 2 bay facade," meaning a "5 windows by 2 windows" exterior.
  3. A recess in a wall, such as a bay window.
  4. A division of space such as an animal stall, sick bay, or bay platform.
  5. The space between joists or rafters, a joist bay or rafter bay.


Bay (architecture) Wikipedia

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