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avant-corps

English translation: "West work" or "West-work" (in medieval architecture)

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
French term or phrase:avant-corps
English translation:"West work" or "West-work" (in medieval architecture)
Entered by: Christopher Crockett
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11:10 Feb 20, 2007
French to English translations [PRO]
Tech/Engineering - Architecture / church architecture
French term or phrase: avant-corps
The term features in a text about the 18th-century renovation of a medieval abbey. It describes the building's "sobre style classique avec arcades en plein cintre et avant-corps striés de bossages plats". The GDT gives forepart or forebuilding, but other sources suggest these are more typically used of castle architecture.
arbizonne
"west work" or "west-work"
Explanation:
It is not quite clear precisely what is meant --a picture would help-- but the technical term for this part of the structure is "west-work", a direct translation from the German "westwerk".

From the decoration, it sounds like we are dealing with an Ottonian or Romanesque building and massive "west works" were common on the larger ones in this period.

The west-work is more than just a facade, consisting of one or more bays, usually between towers, almost always with a chapel on the second story, the whole forming a "massif occidentale".

Here's an 11th c. Norman example, ruined to show us a "cut away" view:

http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/cultures/GB_FR...

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Note added at 2 hrs (2007-02-20 13:57:09 GMT)
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Another Norman example:

http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/cultures/GB_FR...

The wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwork

The origin of these structures seems to go back to the Carolingian period and there would typically be an upstairs chapel which overlooked the nave, presumably for the use of the Emperor or some other high Muckety-Muck. The Ottonians, as heirs to the Carolingians, took that ball and ran with it, constructing the most impressive buildings of the 10th and 11th centuries.

Flanking towers were a common --but not universal-- element:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Hildesheim_Cathedral...


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Note added at 2 hrs (2007-02-20 14:00:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The variations are endless:

http://www.world66.com/europe/germany/lowersaxony/hildesheim...

(That's the West-work on the left, the choir and apse on the right.)
Selected response from:

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 06:40
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4antechurch
Miranda Joubioux
4"west work" or "west-work"
Christopher Crockett
3 +1portical /porch
Kate Hudson
4front annex
Odette Grille


  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
front annex


Explanation:
but forepart is suitable

Odette Grille
Canada
Local time: 06:40
Native speaker of: French

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Christopher Crockett: Yes, it is a kind of "front annex", but we can be more precise, I believe.
2 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

12 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
portical /porch


Explanation:
Oxford-Duden pictorial dictionary shows the 'avant-corps' of a church and calls this 'projection' or 'projecting part of the building' so this could be described as the forepart but I would call it the porch or portical as they are often covered and have pillars standing on them

Kate Hudson
Netherlands
Local time: 12:40
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Miranda Joubioux
2 hrs
  -> Thanks,

neutral  Christopher Crockett: "Portico" ?? There may well be one on this building, but I don't think that that is what is being described here.
2 hrs
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
"west work" or "west-work"


Explanation:
It is not quite clear precisely what is meant --a picture would help-- but the technical term for this part of the structure is "west-work", a direct translation from the German "westwerk".

From the decoration, it sounds like we are dealing with an Ottonian or Romanesque building and massive "west works" were common on the larger ones in this period.

The west-work is more than just a facade, consisting of one or more bays, usually between towers, almost always with a chapel on the second story, the whole forming a "massif occidentale".

Here's an 11th c. Norman example, ruined to show us a "cut away" view:

http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/cultures/GB_FR...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-02-20 13:57:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another Norman example:

http://www.mondes-normands.caen.fr/angleterre/cultures/GB_FR...

The wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westwork

The origin of these structures seems to go back to the Carolingian period and there would typically be an upstairs chapel which overlooked the nave, presumably for the use of the Emperor or some other high Muckety-Muck. The Ottonians, as heirs to the Carolingians, took that ball and ran with it, constructing the most impressive buildings of the 10th and 11th centuries.

Flanking towers were a common --but not universal-- element:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Hildesheim_Cathedral...


--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-02-20 14:00:28 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The variations are endless:

http://www.world66.com/europe/germany/lowersaxony/hildesheim...

(That's the West-work on the left, the choir and apse on the right.)


Christopher Crockett
Local time: 06:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 79
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
antechurch


Explanation:
Dictionnaire Architecture & Construction - Forbes
avant-corps (église): antechurch

Dictionary of Architecture and Construction - Harris
antechurch
A deep narthex at the front of a church, usually with a nave and side aisles.

If you want a picture I can send you the one in the Oxford Duden.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 4 hrs (2007-02-20 16:02:02 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

http://thesaurus.english-heritage.org.uk/thesaurus_term.asp?...

Miranda Joubioux
Local time: 12:40
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 78
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)




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