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Setback (architecture)

Step-like recession in a wall / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A setback, in the specific sense of a step-back, is a step-like form of a wall or other building frontage, also termed a recession or recessed story.[1] Importantly, one or more step-backs lowers the building's center of mass, making it more stable. A setback as a minimum one-bay indent across all stories is called a recessed bay or recess and is the more common exterior form of an alcove.

A series of five setbacks, each of decreasing size, result in the pyramid being much narrower at its peak than at its base.
Setbacks on the pyramid of Djoser, Saqqara, Egypt

Notable upper stories forming a step-back may form a belvedere ā€“ and in residential use are considered the penthouse. If part of the roof, then they are a loft or attic/garret.

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