Bay (architecture)

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Lyme Park in Cheshire, England. The main facade is divided by pilasters into fifteen bays.
Looking down the center aisle of the Saint Roch Parish Church of Lemery, Batangas, Philippines, the spaces between each set of columns and roof trusses are a bay
An interior bay, between the supports of the vaults, in a cathedral.

A bay is a unit of form in architecture which has several meanings relating to the space between architectural elements, or a recess or compartment. The word bay has historically been used to define, in general terms, the size of a building.

Definitions of bay in architecture and construction[edit]

Bay comes from "...Old French baee "opening, hole, gulf..."[1]

  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]
  2. The number of 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 recesses in a wall giving name to a bay window.[2]
  4. A division of space such as an animal stall, sick bay, or bay platform.[2]
  5. The space between joists or rafters, a joist bay or rafter bay.[2]
  6. An embankment or dam to retain water.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Bay" Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=bay&searchmode=none accessed 3/10/2014
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bay", n.3. def. 1-6 and "Bay", n.5 def 2. Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0) © Oxford University Press 2009