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Last edited 12 Nov 2021
It defines a quadrangle (or quad) as: ‘A rectangular courtyard enclosed by buildings on all sides and sometimes within a large building complex. The arrangement is often found in colleges and schools.’
A courtyard is an area that is open to the sky but surrounded by a building (or buildings) or walls. Courtyards are not always rectangular, which is why they are not all quadrangles. Another difference is that some quadrangles are covered, while most courtyards are not. Cloisters are another type of quadrangle.
As architectural elements, quadrangles are not always rectangular - some are square - but in most instances, the surrounding structures are either single buildings or a series of several small buildings that are situated side by side.
Quadrangles are typically found in Western architecture, in museums, palaces, government buildings, housing developments and so on. They are also a feature of Chinese culture, where quadrangles sometimes serve a symbolic function - with each side associated with different points on a compass.
In simple geometric terms, a quadrangle is a four sided polygon.
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