The usefulness of Software Architecture (SA) documentation depends on how well its Architectural Knowledge (AK) can be retrieved by the stakeholders in a software project. Recent findings show that the use of ontology-based SA documentation is promising. However, different roles in software development have different needs for AK, and building an ontology to suit these needs is challenging. In this paper we describe an approach to build an ontology for SA documentation. This approach involves the use of typical questions for eliciting and constructing an ontology. We outline eight contextual factors, which influence the successful construction of an ontology, especially in complex software projects with diverse AK users. We tested our 'typical question' approach in a case study and report how it can be used for acquiring and modeling AK needs. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.