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Architectural Terms & Definitions

Discover everything about the main architectural terms in our glossary and take the opportunity to find out how Millhawlk can help you

What is Quoin in architecture?

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What is Quoin in architecture?

In architecture, a quoin refers to the external angle or corner of a building. Quoins are typically made of stone, brick, or other materials and are used to add visual interest and emphasis to the corners of a structure. They can be purely decorative or serve a structural purpose, providing additional support and stability to the building.

Types of Quoins

There are several types of quoins used in architecture, including decorative quoins, structural quoins, and chamfered quoins. Decorative quoins are purely ornamental and are often used to create a sense of grandeur and elegance in a building’s design. Structural quoins, on the other hand, provide support and reinforcement to the corners of a building, helping to distribute the weight of the structure more evenly.

History of Quoins

Quoins have been used in architecture for centuries, with examples dating back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Romans. They became particularly popular during the Renaissance and Baroque periods, when architects used them to create dramatic and imposing facades on buildings. Today, quoins continue to be used in both traditional and modern architecture, adding character and charm to a wide range of building styles.

Benefits of Quoins

Quoins can have several benefits in architecture, including adding visual interest and depth to a building’s facade, creating a sense of symmetry and balance, and highlighting the corners of a structure. They can also help to break up large expanses of wall and add texture and dimension to a building’s design. Additionally, quoins can be used to tie together different architectural elements and styles, creating a cohesive and harmonious overall look.

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Installation of Quoins

The installation of quoins in architecture requires careful planning and attention to detail. Quoins are typically installed at the corners of a building, with each stone or brick carefully cut and shaped to fit together seamlessly. The size, shape, and color of the quoins should be chosen to complement the overall design of the building and enhance its aesthetic appeal.

Examples of Quoins in Architecture

Quoins can be found in a wide range of architectural styles and periods, from classical Greek and Roman buildings to Gothic cathedrals and Baroque palaces. Examples of buildings with prominent quoins include the Louvre in Paris, St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and the White House in Washington, D.C. These structures showcase the versatility and beauty of quoins in architecture.


In conclusion, quoins are an important architectural element that can enhance the beauty and functionality of a building. Whether used for decorative purposes or structural support, quoins add a unique and timeless quality to architectural design. By understanding the history, types, and benefits of quoins, architects and designers can incorporate this classic element into their projects with confidence and creativity.

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