Republican Roman Construction
Photograph of a Roman atrium in Pompeii
Elsewhere on the Web:
The Roman House
Site explains the difference between classic Roman and early Italian house plans and the climatic reasons for the open air atrium.
Sample Plan of a Roman House
Barbara F. McManus shows the layout of a Roman house, noting atrium (formal entrance hall), ala ("wings" opening from atrium), cubiculum (small room; bedroom), culina (kitchen), exedra (garden room), peristylium (colonnaded garden), taberna (shop), tablinum (office; study), triclinium (dining room), and vestibulum (entrance hall).