APARTMENT, any part of a house that is walled round, and that may be entered through doors ; as kitchen, vesti bule, saloon, dining-room, drawing-room, chamber, closet, library, passage, &e. All the apartments, on the same floor, taken collectively, when opening one into another, without an intermediate passage, are called a suite of apartments.
The word apartment may also denote a portion of a large house, wherein a person may lodge separately, having all the conveniences requisite to make a complete habitation.
A complete apartment is said to consist of a hall, a chamber, an ante-chamber, a closet, and a cabinet, or ward-robe.
When an apartment has one or more of its sides contigu ous to one or more of the exterior walls, and has no other apartment above, it may be lighted either through apertures in the vertical sides of the exterior walls, or by a skylight, as may be found most eligible.
When an apartment is contiguous to one or more sides of the building, but has one or more apartments above, it be comes necessary to light it from apertures in the external walls. Dining-rooms, withdrawing-rooms, and bed-chambers, are more conveniently and agreeably lighted from the exte rior walls, than from the roof.
When an apartment is surrounded on all sides by other apartments, but has no other above, it may be lighted by a skylight ; or, if its height exceed the height of the adjoining apartments, it may be lighted from windows in the sides, above the roofs of the surrounding apartments. A saloon, a staircase, or a dome, is more elegantly lighted in this man ner, than in any other.
When several contiguous apartments, above each other, are surrounded on the sides, they may either be lighted horizontally through the sides by borrowed lights, or verti cally, through apertures in the several ceilings and the roof. Sometimes the situation of passages renders it necessary to light them in the latter method, by forming apertures through the several ceilings and the roof, over each other, with a sky light at the top, and rails round the openings in the floor.
Granaries and warehouses, consisting of several stories, and surrounded with buildings, cannot be lighted in any other way, than from skylights in the roof, and apertures through the several floors, vertically over each other. To save room, the space allotted for the passages, upon each floor, may be directed across the openings, and the openings may be rib bed or latticed with strong bars, for walking upon.
The method of proportioning and finding the number of apertures for lighting an apartment or room, will be seen under the article WINDOWS ; and the proportion of chimneys to the cubature or sides of apartments, is shown under the article enrm What relates to the ceilings of apartments, will be found under the articles, CEILINGS, COMPARTMENT CEILINGS, and VAULTS.
The proportions of apartments depend much on their use. The length of rooms may be extended from once to twice the breadth, and galleries even to three or four times. It is, however, to be observed in general, that the greater the cubature of the room, the greater also must be the ratio of the dimensions of the plan. Thus the dining-room, or withdrawing-room, in a very small house, may be square, but that in a large edifice may be a double square, or less, according as the disposition of the plan of the building may turn out ; the length of the largest rooms should, however, never be less than once and one-third of their breadth. As to the height, it may be three-fourths of the breadth, when the ceiling is flat and equal to the breadth, or once and one fourth of the breadth, when the ceiling is covered or arched, according to the rise of the arch. It may be thought, that there might be some ratio between the height and length, but this idea vanishes when it is considered, that the eve can only take in a certain portion of the length, and therefore the comparison must be made with the breadth.