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, England. The main facade is divided by pilasters into fifteen bays.
Looking down the center aisle
of the Saint Roch Parish Church of Lemery, Batangas
, Philippines, the spaces between each set of columns and roof trusses are a bay
In architecture, a bay is the space between architectural elements, or a recess or compartment. The term bay comes from Old French baee, meaning an opening or hole.
- The spaces between posts, columns, or buttresses in the length of a building, the division in the widths being called aisles. This meaning also applies to overhead vaults (between ribs), in a building using a vaulted structural system. For example, the Gothic architecture period's Chartres Cathedral has a nave (main interior space) that is "seven bays long." Similarly in timber framing a bay is the space between posts in the transverse direction of the building and aisles run longitudinally.
- The openings for windows in a wall. For example, in Georgian style, at Mulberry Fields in Maryland, the building is described as a "5 bay by 2 bay facade," meaning a "5 windows by 2 windows" exterior.
- A recess in a wall, such as a bay window.
- A division of space such as an animal stall, sick bay, or bay platform.
- The space between joists or rafters, a joist bay or rafter bay.
The Japanese ken and Korean kan are both bays themselves and measurements based upon their number and standard placement. Under the Joseon, Koreans were allocated a set number of bays in their residential architecture based upon their class.