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:
“A man whose mind feels that it is captive would prefer to blind himself to the fact. But if he hates falsehood, he will not do so; and in that case he will have to suffer a lot. He will beat his head against the wall until he faints. He will come to again and look with terror at the wall, until one day he begins afresh to beat his head against it; and once again he will faint. And so on endlessly and without hope. One day he will wake up on the other side of the wall.”
—Simone Weil (19091943)
the colors in the wall that woke
when spray from the hose
played on its pocks and warts....”
—Denise Levertov (b. 1923)
“Cooling, so cooling,
with a wall against my feet,
—Matsuo Basho (16441694)