The Russian term for the partial floor located on the third level in the picture is мезонин (mezonin), but in English mezzanine is used to designate something different - an intermediate floor in a building.

So what do we call this kind of structure (in the picture) in English? This kind of structure is traditional for Russian houses of the 19th century, and it's always positioned in the middle of the roof, henсe its name.

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Here's another example of Russian мезонин:

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  • Possibly an attic, or (before they became posh) a penthouse.
    – Lawrence
    Mar 20, 2020 at 11:33

1 Answer 1


That is a dormer (from the French for 'sleeping room').

I don't see any 'curb' in the roof: mansard (or gambrel), and because of the snow I'm not even sure if it's hip or gable style.

  • For some reason there is a separate page for dormer in the Russian Wikipedia: люкарна, but thank you anyway! They might be related indeed. Mar 20, 2020 at 6:03
  • 2
    The lower picture shows a dormer; the upper one is a little too exotic to be a dormer - I suspect that there is no word for it in English it would have to be described. It seems to have been designed as a "room with a view". In coastal communities, there was a similar thing called a "widow's walk" or "widow's watch: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Widow%27s_walk but, in fact, they are a developed form of a cuppola.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 20, 2020 at 10:55
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    @Greybeard The top one is a dormer as well, just a bit elaborate/exotic. A "widow's walk" or "widow's watch" has a roughly 360 degree view (and a "widow's walk" is not enclosed).
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 20, 2020 at 11:57
  • Yes, I only said it was "similar" If you enlarge the picture, you'll see that there is a large window to the rear of the "widow's watch"/dormer. "Dormer" is an extended meaning of "Dormer window" - a vertical window projecting from a roof and indicating a room within the roof. The first picture is a little more than that - it appears to be built above the roof space.
    – Greybeard
    Mar 20, 2020 at 16:05
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    The fancy one I think would best be described as a wide dormer with a central extended bay window, with flanking windows flush with the house's facade. Whoever they locked in the attic really had a nice view!
    – CCTO
    Mar 20, 2020 at 17:06

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