A design feature that can add elegance and style to a remodel is nothing more complicated than an arch. Whether an exterior archway over the alcove, or an interior ceiling design, an arch can be a striking feature. They break up and soften horizontal and vertical lines and spaces. I’ve seen some amazing arch windows, and I’ve designed them for my clients, too.
I called arches simple, although they are anything but, in how they work. By the distribution and displacement of weight they span a space with no need for other structural support members. Arches form a funicular space, i.e. they create their own structure.
Although ancient Persians, Greeks and Etruscans started the whole thing, it was the Roman architects who extensively used arches in their design. One reason was concrete, what today we call hydraulic cement-based concrete, which they first invented and then mastered.
So many classical public buildings are full of arches. Not so much in our homes. But they can really do some magic to a design features.
Here is one I incorporated into a kitchen passageway to the laundry room. A great look.
Linder Jones, Studio Linder Architects: Branch Water Archway photo
Some great pictures of arches in this Architectural Digest blog: