Gables & Pediments

The simplest house form is a single box with a gabled roof.  A gable is the wall that encloses the end of a roof.  It can occur at the side or the front of the box of the house.  A gable, therefore, is the generally triangular portion of a wall between the edges of a dual pitched roof.  A variation of the gable is a crow-stepped gable, which has a stairstep design to accomplish the sloping portion.  Masonry gables are frequently done as Crow-stepped gables.  (4 examples)

A pediment is the triangular space forming the gable end of a building.  Typically, a pediment surmounts a portico of columns.  The same form is also used elsewhere in architecture and decoration.  A feature similar to a pediment can surmount a door, window, front, or other part of a building.  In such cases the pediment is often a gable placed above the horizontal structure of the entablature — the superstructure of moldings and bands that lie horizontally above columns. Pediments are often seen over doors and entries.  They can be straight, curved or broken (notched at the top).