Dutch gable ..................... Illustrated Architecture Dictionary ............................Amsterdam - Table of Contents

Amsterdam Canal House Gables
Amsterdam, Netherlands

"Gable" refers to the front apex of a roof. It disguised the steepness of the roof under which goods were stored. In time, gables became decorated with scrolls, crests, and even coats of arms.

In Amsterdam, the interiors of many of the canal buildings have been modernized, but the gables remain intact.

The protruding hoist beams are used in moving objects (like furniture and appliances) through windows since stairways are quite narrow.

The style of most of the gables is 17th century Baroque.


Click on illustrations to enlarge

Triangular gable

Step gables were in vogue between 1600-65

Step gable

Step gable

Step gable

Step gable. Note the wrought iron tie rods


Warehouse-style spout gable

Neck gables were common from 1640-1840. Note the coquillage and cartouches

Neck gable (left and center) and warehouse spout gable on the right

Neck gable with broken pediment

Neck gable

Neck gable

Neck gable. Note the coquillage

Neck gable ....... Scroll buttresses

Neck gable with dolphin scroll buttresses

Neck gable with sphinxes and festoon

Neck gable topped with 17th century dentilated rounded pediment

Neck gable. Note three coquillages

Neck gable with rounded pediment and festoon

Neck gable with blind arch

Bell gable

Bell gable, popular from the late 17th century. (A bird stands on the gable)

Bell gable

Bell gable

Bell gable

Bell gable

Bell gable

Bell gable

Bell gable

Note similarity of the mirror shape to a 17th century Baroque bell gable.


Photos and their arrangement 2004 Chuck LaChiusa
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