Graphical Construction Glossary >> masonry. >> arches >> Semicircular Arch

Semicircular Arch
Also known as the Roman Arch. based on half of a circle.
In Architecture. A succession of arches sat on coumns each thrusting on it's neighbour. A covered walkway bounded by such arches.
In Masonry. The under surface of an arch or beam.

an arcade in Florence using semicircular arches
An arcade in Florence using semicircular arches

Also known as a roman arch this form is still popular today in certain areas. The Romans excelled at building huge aquaducts and viaducts using many arches in the length and up to thee tiers in height.

a roman arch at Segovia
The aqueduct at Segovia, built by the Romans in the fist century AD.

Making good use of the principle of one arch thrusting against another this series of arches has stood for nineteen hundred years.

A brick arch with a stone soffit. Greenwhich, London UK.

This brick arch has some very fancy and complicated brickwork on the face, but to keep to a general theme of the building that has accents of Portland stone the soffit has been made out of curved ashlar work. Note how the returns of the string course form the imposts for the soffit stonework.

the soffit of an arch

Another view of the same semicircular arch, this time showing the soffit stonework, which has saved some tricky brickwork.

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"What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?
Adam Smith 1723-1790

"When we build, let us think that we build for ever."John Ruskin 1819-1900

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