Quoin (architecture)

Quoin (architecture)
Quoining on the corners of Palazzo Aragona Gonzaga, Rome.

Quoins (/kɔɪn/ or /kwɔɪn/) are the cornerstones of brick or stone walls.[1] Quoins may be either structural or decorative. Architects and builders use quoins to give the impression of strength and firmness to the outline of a building. Rough-finished or rusticated masonry is also frequently used for foundation layers of buildings to give the same impression.

Quoining can be carried out in stone on a stone building, with stone on a predominantly brick building, or by laying brick masonry to give the appearance of blocks at the corner. If structural, quoins are usually part of load-bearing walls; if decorative, they may be made of a variety of materials including brick, stone and wood. The most common form of decorative use for quoins uses an alternative pattern of rectangles that wrap around the wall, mimicking the pattern of stone blocks or brick as they would wrap around a corner and thus join the two walls. In Georgian architecture, wooden quoins were most often part of an overall theme to imply stone, and thus permanence.


  1. ^ Rankine, William J. M. (1862). A Manual of Civil Engineering. Griffin, Bohn, and Co. p. 385. 

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