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In classical architecture
Classical architecture is a mode of architecture employing vocabulary derived in part from the Greek and Roman architecture of classical antiquity, enriched by classicizing architectural practice in Europe since the Renaissance...
, the term attic
refers to a story or low wall above the cornice
Cornice molding is generally any horizontal decorative molding that crowns any building or furniture element: the cornice over a door or window, for instance, or the cornice around the edge of a pedestal. A simple cornice may be formed just with a crown molding.The function of the projecting...
of a classical façade
A facade or façade is generally one exterior side of a building, usually, but not always, the front. The word comes from the French language, literally meaning "frontage" or "face"....
. This usage originated in the 17th century from the use of Attica
A pilaster is a slightly-projecting column built into or applied to the face of a wall. Most commonly flattened or rectangular in form, pilasters can also take a half-round form or the shape of any type of column, including tortile....
s as adornments on the top story's façade. The decoration of the topmost part of a building was particularly important in ancient Greek architecture and this came to be seen as typifying the Attica
style. By the 18th century this meaning had been transferred to the space behind the wall of the highest story (i.e., directly under the roof), producing the modern meaning of the word "attic
An attic is a space found directly below the pitched roof of a house or other building . Attic is generally the American/Canadian reference to it...