Arches have been used in architecture for centuries, from ancient Roman aqueducts to modern-day skyscrapers. These elegant and functional structures have become an integral part of building design, providing strength, stability, and beauty to architectural masterpieces.
Arch structures are made in different shapes and sizes, with each having unique properties and characteristics.
Flat arches are arches that have really low or no inner curves. They aren’t the best for their functional and load-bearing qualities but are often used for aesthetic purposes and light-load structures in modern buildings.
This residence in New York incorporated flat and rectangular arch for interior entryways.
Round arches have a semicircular shape and are widely used in Roman and Gothic style of architecture. They are known for their strength and stability and can span wide openings without additional support. This type of arch has a continuous curve which may or may not support weight from above, depending on the context.
Rounded arches are still popular today, used even in home interiors. They easily bear loads and also look very aesthetic. They are even arranged next to each other, making arcades.
Pointed arches, also known as Gothic arches, have a pointed shape and are prevalent in Gothic and Renaissance architecture. They are known for their beauty and elegance and are often used to create intricate designs and patterns.
In the modern context, we can often see pointed arches being used in public spaces and as garden arches.
Segmental arches have a curved shape that is less than a semicircle and are often used in buildings with a curved or sloping roofline. They are known for their versatility and can fit into a variety of architectural styles.
They are used in interior and in building facades due to their aesthetics and functionality.
A parabolic arch has the arch in the shape of a parabola. The curve has an efficient method of load distribution, hence preferred for such spaces. They are commonly used in load bearing structures like bridges.
Horseshoe arches have a curved shape that resembles a horseshoe and are often used in Islamic and Moorish architecture. They are known for their beauty and intricacy and can be used to create stunning patterns and designs.
This house, inspired by Moroccan architecture, incorporates traditional horse-shoe shaped arches for its openings.
Tudor arches have a flattened, pointed shape and are commonly used in Tudor and Elizabethan architecture. They are known for their unique and distinctive appearance and are often used to create a sense of grandeur and elegance.
This residence has an arched entryway to the dining area which is Tudor style.
Triangular arches are not true arches but instead have two flat stones with an angle of 45 degrees that meet and the center. It was used mostly in Anglo-Saxon architecture.
Arches are incredibly strong and stable structures that are able to support immense weight without collapsing.
One of the unique properties of arches is their “thrust.” Thrust is the horizontal force that is generated by the weight of the arch, and it must be counteracted to prevent the arch from collapsing.
Arch structures are able to support large amounts of weight without collapsing.
Arch structures can be used in a variety of architectural styles, from Gothic cathedrals to modern skyscrapers.
Arch structures are often used to create intricate designs and patterns, and can add a sense of beauty and elegance to building design.
Arch structures are often made from durable materials, such as stone or concrete, that are able to withstand harsh weather conditions and the test of time.
Arch structures require a high degree of precision and accuracy in construction. Even small deviations from the intended design can result in significant structural issues.
Some materials used in arch construction can be expensive or difficult to source, increasing the overall cost of the project.
Arch structures can collapse if they are not properly supported. This can result in significant damage to the structure and potential harm to people in the surrounding area.
With their unique combination of strength and beauty, arch structures offer a range of benefits to building design. They can be used in a variety of building types, including homes, commercial buildings, and infrastructure projects like bridges and dams.