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I'm unsure of the most readily recognizable term among normal people to describe a group of windows in a building.

Here's an example of the type of architectural feature I have in mind. In this photo there are five distinct 'groups' of windows which I'm trying to describe:

enter image description here

enter image description here

(UK parliament building)

Using the desired term I might say something like:

"Please look at the 3rd XXXX of windows from the left..."

Note that from a construction point of view each of those five is made up of multiple frames, pieces of glass (or "glazing units"), etc. but that lower-level of detail is not what I am trying to describe.

Thoughts so far:

  • The first term that came to mind was that each is an "array" - but I am probably biased by familiarity with that term from computer programming and it might be too obscure. However it does seem to capture the regularity of their layout.

  • The second idea is to call them each a "bank" of windows but the Google definition states it is things "grouped together in rows" which may not be correct - column groups also exist. (This may be too literal of a concern).

Again, being technical correct in an architectural sense is distinctly secondary to the meaning most people would infer from the term.

  • as there isn't an actual name, can you provide an example sentence, with how you want to use this word. – WendyG Mar 25 at 13:35
  • and what distinguishes these 5 from the 5 next to them? as the building has 100s of windows – WendyG Mar 25 at 13:36
  • @WendyG re: example, good suggestion - done, if it helps – DaveInCaz Mar 25 at 13:52
  • @WendyG how to distinguish them is a good question. In most cases I am thinking of the groups I'm trying to refer to would have a consistent internal pattern. Like 5x2, 2x2, as in the example in the photo. Though this might not always be strictly required it is typical. – DaveInCaz Mar 25 at 13:54
  • In the picture, there are 5 windows, not groups of windows. So, your statement will be "Please look at the 3rd window from the left..." – alwayslearning Mar 25 at 14:06
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I think a row of windows would be most recognizable. People would infer that the windows are horizontally side-by-side.

Another word that comes to mind is clump, but that could mean vertical and horizontal. You could specify it and say that: Along each floor, windows are clumped together in groups of 5.

To go along with the updated example,

"Please look at the 3rd clump of windows from the left..."

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In your question, you say:

Note that from a construction point of view each of those five is made up of multiple frames, pieces of glass (or "glazing units"), etc. but that lower-level of detail is not what I am trying to describe.

I think the common phrasing you're looking for is window panes.


For the sake of argument, let's say that a window is whatever single piece of hardware that is delivered and installed. Let's also say that we have four windows, each with three vertically aligned window panes, that are installed next to each other. We then have four windows. But next to those four windows, separated by brick, cement, or another building feature, is another four windows.

In this case, the use of arrays or banks becomes more understandable.

Graphically, it would look like this, where each [] is a single unit that was delivered and installed—and which contains three vertically aligned panes of glass:

[][][][]      [][][][]      [][][][]

[][][][]      [][][][]      [][][][]

[][][][]      [][][][]      [][][][]

Or, with an actual picture:

windows

The way I would describe this is as follow:

A 3x3 grid of four-window groups.

  • I'm saying grid only because that's a common way of expressing the geometry of this kind of layout. In the phrasing you introduced, it would be array.

  • I'm using the word group (or grouping) to describe each set of four horizontally adjacent windows. In the phrasing you introduced, it would be banks.

In your phrasing, you had an array of window banks. In my phrasing, it's a grid of window groups.

Or, if you don't like group, you could use set, which I also used when I said that a window group described "each set of four horizontally adjacent windows."

Additionally, you can say either a window group or a group of windows, depending on which sounds better given the surrounding text of the sentence.


In short, returning to the sentence in your question, I would say:

"Please look at the 3rd group of windows from the left . . ."

Or, if I were describing something from the example I provided:

Please look at the top-left group of windows.

  • I’m not convinced. I would have said each [] was a pane. And Oxford agrees: a single sheet of glass in a window or door.. Actually I’m not sure if you’re saying what I’m saying or not. Now that I look the [] are each made up of three panes. – Jim Mar 26 at 4:24
  • @Jim A pane of glass is a single sheet of glass. My [] is a poor graphical example—but I described it before using that character. Look at the picture itself. There are three panes of glass arranged vertically. That's the unit that's delivered to a customer and called a window. – Jason Bassford Mar 26 at 4:28
  • Ok so I think we agree on what a pane is. But OP is asking about the groups of panes which I would just call “a window”. – Jim Mar 26 at 4:31
  • I would say there are 9 windows in the TGIF photo where each window is a multi-pane window with 12 panes of glass. – Jim Mar 26 at 4:34
  • @Jim That's possible—I couldn't say unless I examined the windows directly. But that's not how I described the scenario. ;) In my description of the picture, I said "Let's also say that we have four windows, each with three vertically aligned window panes, that are installed next to each other." – Jason Bassford Mar 26 at 4:41

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