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(both: klĭr`stōr'ē, –stôr'ē), a part of a building whose walls rise higher than the roofs of adjoining parts of the structure. Pierced by windows, it is chiefly a device for obtaining extra light. It had an early use in certain Egyptian temples, as at Karnak, and was used later in the great halls of Roman basilicas. It became a characteristic element of medieval churches, receiving its fullest development in churches of the Gothic period.


An upper story or row of windows rising above the adjoining parts of the building, designed as a means of admitting increased light into the inner space of the building.


The upward extension of enclosed space achieved by bringing a windowed wall up to interrupt the slope of the roof.

clerestory, clerestory window

clerestory, 2 A
1.An upper zone of wall pierced with windows that admit light to the center of a lofty room.
2. A window so placed. (See illustration p. 218.)


, clearstory
1. a row of windows in the upper part of the wall of a church that divides the nave from the aisle, set above the aisle roof
2. the part of the wall in which these windows are set
References in periodicals archive ?
V-shaped columns will rise to the top of the clerestories, which are
Photo: New clerestories bring in light; new sloping ceiling bounces it onto expanded breakfast area.
All clerestories face due north and are further protected from direct sunlight by eyebrow-like laminated sunscreens of safety glass.
Clerestories over the bookcases of the inner wall allow light to seep from the ceilings of the offices into the corridors, so the normally dull and forbidding doublebanked plan is actually rather cheerful -- but still inevitably institutional.
Reflected daylight enters through clerestories, bounces up into the shimmering vaults and is then diffused down onto the exhibits.
Passage through the building is dramatized by light: the open bridges, with their delicate balustrading, and flights of stairs criss-cross under clerestories in a luminous beech-lined chasm at times rising the full height of the building.
In the hall, a bank of stairs and escalators majestically leads up to bridge level, and the space is made luminous by glass-block clerestories.
These spiral out from the half-round stair drum so that clerestories can be formed; they gradually ascend as they turn until the space is high enough to allow an internal upper level which connects with a dining terrace next to the ceremonial entrance axis.
Here are the big machines that provided the power, dominated by a Newcomen atmospheric steam engine, over two stories high set in the central nave which is lit by clerestories under the curved roof that is now revealed as a device for reflecting luminance downwards.
The building has east-facing clerestories so that it need not be artificially illuminated except during performances.
All the rest is lightweight timber construction, and it is mostly roof, since the eaves are so low, The centre of the building is not dark for there are many clerestories, which are efficient at gathering light without much heat loss.
The section, with its continuous concentric clerestories and the radially organised plan, ensures that the volume is divided into a series of interconnected places.