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A queen post, sometimes called queenpost or queenspost, is a type of roof truss that has two vertical posts that rise up from a tie beam at the bottom to support the rafters. The posts are connected by a horizontal support. This is usually a straining beam, tie, or cable. These trusses are used throughout the world in both interior and exterior residential architecture, as well as in public buildings and bridges.
Trussed roofs have been used for centuries because they are very strong and stable. There are many variations on roof trusses, and they are often used in modern construction because they can be prefabricated and are less expensive than some other forms of roof supports. A queen post truss is popular because it offers more structural support than a king post, which has one vertical post that supports the center peak of each set of rafters. A queen post can support a wider span than a king post, and it provides more space inside a room. This can add to the usable area of a house, and can also make it easier to finish an unfinished room later.
A queen post can be made from metal, but is frequently used in buildings that have exposed timber roof trusses. It is used in houses as well as in churches and other buildings with large open spaces. The vertical posts can be straight, but often they are made in decorative shapes ranging from simple curves to more elaborate figures. A queen post roof can be a very attractive feature in a large space in a house, such as a great room.
This type of truss is also used in exterior architecture. Exposed trusses, including queen post trusses, have been used decoratively in gables in many architectural styles. In the United States, historic homes in styles such as Craftsman, Gothic Revival, Tudor, Stick, and Queen Anne were often built with ornamental trusses. Several of these styles, especially Gothic Revival and Tudor, are reminiscent of European styles that are characterized by elaborate gables, which often display ornamental trusses.
Queen post trusses are used in bridge design, too. It is a common truss style for wooden covered bridges, in which it supports the covered roof. In an uncovered bridge, the trusses are visible, usually as side rails. Unlike in house construction, this type of truss is not used for long spans in bridges, because other styles are more suitable.
I stayed in this hotel once in Austria that had a gigantic lobby. The ceiling of the lobby was made up of hundreds of intricately patterned trussed beams. It had been designed to be both structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing.
It was incredible to look at. It was almost like there was a maze floating above your head. My husband and I spent a fair amount of time just sitting in the lobby and staring up at the trusses. It is incredible what people can do.