In classical, neoclassical and baroque architecture, a pediment is the triangular gable that forms the end of a pitched roof. It is placed above the horizontal entablature which is typically supported by columns. It is also sometimes seen as the top element of a portico.
In classical Greek temples, the pediment was the crowning feature of the front elevation, with the tympanum (the area within the pediment) being decorated with relief sculptures depicting mythological figures and scenes.
There are a number of variations of the traditional pediment:
- The segmental or arch form in which the angular slopes of the cornice are replaced by a circle segment.
- The broken pediment in which the raking cornice is left open at the apex.
- The open pediment in Georgian architecture, in which the pediment is open along the base.
- The ‘swan-necked pediment’, where the raking cornice takes the form of two S-shaped brackets facing one another.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Barrel vault.
- Classical orders in architecture.
- Cornice coving and architrave definitions.
- Elements of classical columns.
- Flying buttress.
- Pendentive dome.
- Trompe l’oeil.
 External references
‘Structures and structural failure’ at IHBC’s Nottingham School, with Ed Morton (ex Canterbury, York and Westminster to St Paul’s) and John Ruddy.
Ageing gracefully - restorations which retain historical decay.