A spandrel is the space between two arches or between an arch and a rectangular enclosure.
There are four or five accepted meanings of spandrel in architectural and art history, mostly relating to the space between a curved figure and a rectangular boundary – such as the space between the curve of an arch and a rectilinear bounding molding, or the wallspace bounded by adjacent arches in an arcade and the molding above them, or the space between the central medallion of a carpet and its rectangular corners, or the space between the circular face of a clock and the corners of the square revealed by its hood. Also included is the space under a flight of stairs, if it is not occupied by another flight of stairs. This is a common location to find storage space in residential structures.
In a building with more than one floor, the term spandrel is also used to indicate the space between the top of the window in one story and the sill of the window in the story above. The term is typically employed when there is a sculpted panel or other decorative element in this space.
“Among all the architectural positions for sculpture, the spandrel is one of the most excellent.” As stated by Bob Speel whose website is an excellent compilation of pictures and information about sculpture and architecture. Some pictures from his spandrel collection.
The arch is a feature seen in many homes today. The spandrel is a wonderful opportunity to add embellishment or pattern.
Some choices for embellishing spandrels from Decorators Supply.
Love this spandrel design. Panel ornament combined with a center feature and swags.
Great idea for windows.
Andrew Skurman Foyer.