The word quoin pronounced coin (koin or koyn), is an old French word meaning “corner” or “angle.”
Quoin has come to be known as the accentuation of a building’s corner with short side header bricks or stone blocks and long side stretcher bricks or stone blocks that may or may not differ from the wall masonry in size, color, or texture.
Quoins are very noticeable on buildings — as noticeable as a “jerkinhead” roof (see photo). Sometimes decorative quoins stick out more than their surrounding stone or brick, and very often they are a different color.
The architectural detail we call the quoin or quoins of a structure is often used as decoration, defining space by visually outlining the geometry of a building.
Quoins may have structural intent, also, to strengthen walls in order to add height. Rusticated quoins are highlighted by a chamfered edge.
Click and scroll through examples of quoin corners.
Quoins are also known as l’angle d’un mur or “the angle of a wall.”