The purpose of this article is to define what a pergola is, what it is used for, and to distinguish it from some of its architectural garden-dwelling cohorts, including arbors and gazebos.
To kick things off, here is a picture of a pergola just to provide a visual reference.
This pergola is not closed and seems to have an almost “unfinished” look depending on how you look, as it has a more minimal structure.
Your ordinary garden variety pergola is quite large in size, wide and rectangular both vertically and horizontally. The lower area defined by the pergola opens the door to many possibilities.
The truss at the top where the cross beams intersect is not absolutely necessary. Simply, it can have one-way cross beams without a truss like above:
As you can see from the example above, pergolas can be raised above the ground as long as they have a surface on which to sit.
Visually, bioclimatic pergolas are usually large enough to be striking when people see them, they visually attract their attention, and can be produced aesthetically in many different designs and colors.