A wall (from Old English weall) is a vertical structure, usually solid, that defines and sometimes protects an area. Most commonly, a wall delineates a building and supports its superstructure, separates space in buildings into sections, or protects or delineates a space in the open air. There are three principal types of structural walls: building walls, exterior boundary walls, and retaining walls.
Building walls have one main purpose: to support roofs and ceilings. Such walls most often have three or more separate components. In today's construction, a building wall will usually have the structural elements (such as 2×4 studs in a house wall), insulation, and finish elements or surface (such as drywall or panelling). In addition, the wall may house various types of electrical wiring or plumbing. Electrical outlets are usually mounted in walls.
Building walls frequently become works of art externally and internally, such as when featuring mosaic work or when murals are painted on them; or as design foci when they exhibit textures or painted finishes for effect.
On a ship, the walls separating compartments are termed "bulkheads", whilst the thinner walls separating cabins are termed "partitions".
In architecture and civil engineering, the term curtain wall refers to the facade of a building which is not load-bearing but functions as decoration, finish, front, face, or history preservation.
Famous quotes containing the word wall:
“... the Wall became a magnet for citizens of every generation, class, race, and relationship to the war perhaps because it is the only great public monument that allows the anesthetized holes in the heart to fill with a truly national grief.”
—Adrienne Rich (b. 1929)
“The writer in me can look as far as an African-American woman and stop. Often that writer looks through the African-American woman. Race is a layer of being, but not a culmination.”
—Thylias Moss, African American poet. As quoted in the Wall Street Journal (May 12, 1994)
“Something inspires the only cow of late
To make no more of a wall than an open gate,
And think no more of wall-builders than fools.”
—Robert Frost (18741963)