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word of the week: SPANDREL

2010 June 20
by Caroline Nye Stevens

SPANDREL: A panel in a multistory frame building, between the sill of a window on one level and the head of a window immediately below. It is also what you call the triangular shape formed by the junction of two adjoining arches, or the area where an arch meets the rectangular frame surrounding it.

Compare the Art Deco-like  fluted stainless steel spandrels of the General Growth Properties Building (110 N. Wacker Drive), with the much more simple brick spandrels on the Gage Buildings (24 S. Michigan Ave).
2 Responses
  1. Rick permalink
    June 21, 2010

    I’m not sure I’d call the General Growth building “Art Deco.” The AIA Guide calls it “International Style.” (1961, GAPW)

    • June 21, 2010

      Good catch Rick. I changed it to “Art Deco-like” because though it is an International Style building, the fluted and shiny pilasters seem reminiscent of the Art Deco period. Though the building on a whole is more in keeping with the International Style as you said. Thanks!

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