The word 'spandrel' is typically used to refer to the roughly triangular space or surface that is found between a curved figure and a rectangular boundary. It is thought to derive from from the Old French word 'spandre', meaning to spread.
Spandrels can be found in a number of situations:
- The space between the curve of an arch and a rectilinear moulding.
- The space bounded by adjacent arches in an arcade and the horizontal moulding above.
- The space, where arches adjoin, between their crowns and springing lines. This is called a 'spandrel wall' if it is filled in.
- The space under a flight of stairs.
The term spandrel may also be used to refer to the space between the sill of a window on one storey, and the head of the window beneath it. A spandrel panel is the term given to a sculpted or other decorative element used in this space. If the space is filled with opaque or translucent glass, it is referred to as spandrel glass.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Energy from waste and its key role in a low carbon economy.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes was guest speaker at the BSRIA Briefing - Tomorrow’s challenges in today’s buildings.
Read our introductory article to the Common Arrangement of Work Sections. What are they, what are the categories?
Acknowledging the unique requirements of projects in historic environments.
CIAT announces that Alex Naraian has been inaugurated as its new President.
Read our introductory article to the mechanical ventilation of buildings.
Do infrastructure professionals expect too much, or the wrong thing, from their sustainability colleagues?
Government announces new legal powers to give the North a say on how money is spent on transport.
If you are studying a built environment-related degree, we've got hundreds of articles designed to help you out.
Have a look at this lily-shaped building that has been awarded a low carbon certification by BREEAM.
What is dot and dab, and how can the typical defects be recognised and rectified?
How to get beyond the sales pitch and assess supplier sustainability.
Late payment has been a blight on the industry for decades - but what are the causes?