Illustrated Architecture Dictionary


Thick vertical or horizontal strips between adjoining windows

Found in all western styles of architecture

Muntin: A secondary framing member to hold panes within a window, window wall, or glazed door.

Arcade1. A series of arches supported by pillars, piers or columns;  2. A roofed passageway or lane, especially one with shops on either side

Arcade Windows in Italian Renaissance Florence

Windows are of three types:  (a) "Arcade" type with central column and round arches, as in the Palazzi Riccardi (p. 616 G), Strozzi (p. 619 H),  and Quaratesi (p. 616 E) ....

- A History of Architecture on the Comparative Method, by Sir Banister-Fletcher, New York, 1950, p. 668

Pre-19th Century History

Stone mullions
were used in Armenian, Saxon and Islamic architecture prior to the 10th century.

They became common across Europe in the Romanesque architecture, with paired windows divided by a mullion, set beneath a single arch becoming a fashionable architectural form.

The same structural form was used for open arcades as well as windows, and is found in galleries and cloisters.

In Gothic architecture windows became larger and arrangements of multiple mullions and openings were used, both for structure and ornament. This is particularly the case in Gothic churches where stained glass is set in lead and ferramenta between the stone mullions.

Mullioned windows of a simpler form continued to be used into the Renaissance and various Revival styles.

- Wikipedia: Mullion (Online Dec. 2012)

Mullions and Muntins

When a very large glazed [glass] area was desired before the middle of the nineteenth century, such as in the large windows seen in Gothic churches or Elizabethan palaces, the openings necessarily required division into a framework of mullions and transoms, often of stone.

It was further necessary for each glazed panel, sash or casement to be further subdivided by muntins or lead cames because large panes of glass were reserved primarily for use as mirrors, being far too costly to use for glazing windows or doors.

...[mullion] is also confused with the "muntin" (or "glazing bar" in the UK) which is the precise word for the very small strips of wood or metal that divide a sash into smaller glass "panes" or "lights".

- Wikipedia: Mullion (Online Dec. 2012)

Examples from Buffalo architecture: Other Examples:

Photos and their arrangement 2002 Chuck LaChiusa
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