atrium

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atrium

(ā`trēəm), term for an interior court in Roman domestic architecture and also for a type of entrance court in early Christian churches. The Roman atrium was an unroofed or partially roofed area with rooms opening from it. In early times its center held a cooking hearth. After the 2d cent. B.C., when the hearth was placed elsewhere, the center of the atrium held a tank (impluvium) to receive rainwater falling through the opening, which also furnished light to the surrounding rooms. In more luxurious and complex Roman dwellings, the private apartments had a court of their own, called the peristyle, and the atrium served merely as a semipublic reception hall. The ruins of Pompeii contain remains of atria in their various forms. In early Christian churches, the atrium was a large arcaded or colonnaded open court, serving as a general meeting place, in front of the church itself, with a fountain used for ablutions in its center. The basilican churches of Sant'Ambrogio in Milan and San Clemente in Rome have noteworthy atria. This type of large forecourt is also a characteristic element of the Muslim mosque. The term also refers to a modern building's central court, an often soaring interior space with a large skylight. Creating a flood of natural light and usually filled with plants, the feature has become practically ubiquitous in contemporary architecture; it is used predominantly in commercial buildings.

Atrium

The forecourt of an early Christian basilica, with colonnades on all four sides, and usually a fountain in the center. It was derived from the entrance court or hall of a Roman dwelling, roofed to leave a large opening to admit light. Rain was received in a cistern below. The modern version is a common vertical space with skylights in an office or hotel complex.

atrium

[′ā·trē·əm]
(anatomy)
The heart chamber that receives blood from the veins.
The main part of the tympanic cavity, below the malleus.
The external chamber to receive water from the gills in lancelets and tunicates.
(architecture)
An open court located within a building.

atrium

atrium, 2
atrium, 1
1.. The main hall of an ancient Roman house, containing an opening to the sky

atrium

1. the open main court of a Roman house
2. a central often glass-roofed hall that extends through several storeys in a building, such as a shopping centre or hotel
3. a court in front of an early Christian or medieval church, esp one flanked by colonnades
4. Anatomy a cavity or chamber in the body, esp the upper chamber of each half of the heart
References in periodicals archive ?
Due to the central importance of the atrium in the spatial organization of the built environment, the dwelling unit is called the "atrium-house," which is widely recognized as an architectural type associated with the ancient Italic culture (Figure 1).
The earliest Italic scheme is the single-storey family domus--an inward-looking, cool, and quiet house tightly organized around a core space called the atrium.
The concepts of atrium and the atrium-house are established primarily on textual sources.
It is argued that the atrium was the chief room of the house which regulated the rhythm of alternating light and dark spaces throughout the symmetrically arranged rooms (Kostof, 1985, 197-9).
At the earlier phase of the proposed evolution, the Italic houses involved the characteristic atrium conforming to Vitruvian definition and at the later phase peristyles were added into the original atrium-house due to Hellenistic influence (5) (Figure 1).
In Vitruivan definition, the roof of the Tuscan atrium was supported on two deep wooden beams spanning the entire length of the room and framing the long sides of the compluvium while the short sides were framed by secondary beams supported by the main beams.
Not surprisingly, the Hyatt atrium -- perhaps best defined as open, airy and alive -- is still very much a trademark of Hyatt hotels and very often what visitors come to see.
The Hyatt atrium dates back to 1967 when a young, enterprising entrepreneur named Donald Pritzker took over the Atlanta hotel that nobody wanted.
For the Romans, the atrium was the focal point of the home, an open expanse of space around which the rest of the home was built.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta's atrium was to become its focal point, too, and the center of its activity.
But for Hyatt Regency Atlanta, "the atrium was the realization of an exciting, new environment," said Geoga.
To this day, the atrium receives much of the credit for the hotel's success.