Designer’s Alphabet, N is for ……

Architectural niche by Batty Langley

Architectural niche by Batty Langley

durer-latin-nIs for niche. A recess built into a wall to house a statue, trophy, or work of art. Often niches are capped with a semi-dome. The domes were sometimes carved to mimic the inside of a seashell. Found in Roman buildings from antiquity, niches were exploited by joiners and cabinetmakers for interior architectural work. The interior space for built in  corner cupboards often included the graceful carved domes with dramatic effect. Sort of sheds light on the saying “Carved out a niche for oneself”.

Niche with carved seashell treatment in semi-dome

Niche with carved seashell treatment in semi-dome

Niche from Guntston Hall. HABS photo.

Niche from Guntston Hall. HABS photo.

fanlight Gunston Hall

This is one of those architectural elements that shares DNA with other bits and pieces often found in traditional design. Did this semi-dome from a niche inspire the fanlights capping a doorway (also found in some glazed furniture doors)? If you have any examples of niches to share, e-mail me at georgewalkerdesign.com and I’ll add them to this post.

George R. Walker

Here’s another pic for you from The Walnut Calamity.  The fireplace is recessed under a flight of stairs, which ascend from the right. Niche Overmantel.  “Particularly quaint, really,” said the unusually vain woodworker, Xavier.  Yep, zany!

Cheers,
Devin

Fireplace Niche

 

 

 

 

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About walkerg

Woodworker and writer
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