Illustrated Architecture Dictionary

Plural: atriums

1 - A courtyard or patio surrounded by a house (such as an ancient Roman house)

May be open to the outside or be roofed with skylights to admit natural light; typically contains plants

2 - An open area in the center of a multistory building (such as a hotel) that extends to the top of the building; usually have a fountain or pool or plants and a skylight

Rooms on the upper floors are commonly accessed by balcony-type corridors overlooking the atrium.

Peristyle: An open space surrounded by columns

Courtyard: An open space surrounded by walls or buildings, adjoining or within a building such as a large house or housing complex.

Examples from Buffalo:
Examples out of Buffalo:

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