Ancient Roman Features in Modern Day

in Architecture+Design2 years ago (edited)

Going back to the beginning of times, circular shapes were used in architectural and engineering designs to beautify buildings and garden features, likely as the sun and the moon played a big part in life back then. Arches were constructed as far back as the second millennium BC by the Romans and an even older structure that we can still visit today, is the prehistoric stone circle at Stonehedge.

Today we have many domed designs like here in the gracious old Roses & Crown building in Mossel Bay where they used attractive domed concrete trim to frame the windows and doorways, adding to the beauty of the building.

Arches are also used in Engineering design and here we see the Umtamvuna River Bridge that connects the province of KwaZulu-Natal with the Eastern Cape.
This is the largest steel suspension bridge in South Africa with a span of 206 metres and an archway that has a height of 35 metres above the road which in turn is 30 metres above the water level of the Umtamvuna River.
The natural curve of an arch dissipates the force outward thus reducing the tension and giving a bridge its strength.

A stunning image showing the reflection of the arch in the water at the end of the day.

There are many types of arches and the ones mostly used are: Round Arch, Three-Pointed Arch, Oriental Arch, Draped Arch and the Ogee Three-Centered Arch; as seen below.


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This entrance to a holiday villa we stayed in looks really stunning with the arched concrete frame around the door, made even prettier by the etched glass.


Constructing an arched brick wall
Before building an arched wall, one has to construct a wooden formwork so that the bricks can be built around it in a perfect arch shape. This supports the brickwork until the concrete has hardened, whereafter the wooden formwork is removed.


With concrete work, door or window openings further require a steel or concrete lintel above the opening to stop cracks in the walls above the opening.

My favourite arched wall feature in our home is the very pretty clinker face brick wall in our BnB studio apartment. The brick is a very pretty grey/peach coloured mix, must have had a tint added somehow as they are not like the traditional clinker bricks which have dark patches where it's been burnt.


Arc wall.jpg

What is a Clinker Brick?
These are bricks that are placed very close to the coal-burning traditional kilns with resultant over-baking producing various warm rich colours.
They actually were rejects but became popular in the early twentieth century with avant-garde architects.

We love arches as can be seen inside and outside our home as well as our Lily's Cottage.

My brother made this steel pergola to support our bougainvillea, a creeping shrub, at the entrance to our pool. One can see how this creeper has grown and looks stunning when it's in full flower with its colourful purple blossoms.

Pool Arch 1.jpg


Bougainvillea Pool Safe Stays.jpg

So that was a different kind of arch, but here are a couple more brickwork arches used in and outside our home.




We even used an arched design for our driveway gate and property fencing.

Gate entrance S.jpg

An arched potplant stand made for us by a special friend.


The following arches are in the estate my brother lives in, where they have stunning architecture.



An arched feature certainly gives that finishing touch to many architectural building or structures.
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Hello @lizelle. Arches are indeed one of the most important design elements of architecture! We're happy to let you know that your awesome content has been chosen as one of the Top 3 of Architecture Brew #25. Cheers!


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Wow thank you so much @aplusd, funny how I just wanted to initially share the large bedroom arch, and then saw just how many arches are incorporated into our home, all hubby's designs;) I just love your awesome interactive community!

Love how you incorporated arches in Lily's Cottage throughout various spaces indoor and outdoor.

Many years ago, we used to live in community development with uniformed Mediterranean-style looking buildings and houses. Arches were the accent feature along with the porches and terraces with warm paint colors of yellow and apricot similar to the last photo. We enjoyed taking walks to admire the landscape and the rhythm of arches. Great post!

Thank you so much @discoveringarni, I also enjoyed writing this one, love the arches;)
Thinking about it again, I think we have a wedding photo with the arched church door entrance behind us:)
Appreciate your warm feedback, glad you enjoyed the post.

I see you love arches. that's really nice and it brings such a homey feel to places. Lily's cottage is wonderful as I told earlier too, I would love to be there as soon as this pandemic gets over.
Hope you are staying safe and healthy @lizelle :)

Same here, arches certainly adds to the beauty, we love using it as you saw!
We've been taking a cocktail of immune boosters our son sends and just follow the necessary steps so thankfully are keeping safe.
You keep well too @sahiba-rana !

Hello @lizelle, hope you are healthy and happy.
These arches not only makes the space look spacious but beautiful too. They can be added to interior as well as exterior and that's amazing quality.
Keep flourishing!

Thank you so very much for your kind comments and encouragement as always @praditya, really appreciate you!

Indeed, the versatility of the humble arch! Since time immemorial, its distinctive shape has proven to be extremely useful in several applications, most especially in the field of architecture and design. No wonder you have happily filled your own home with lots of beautiful arches. Many thanks, @lizelle for this insightful post as I've learned many great points from it!

They are beautiful indeed! My hubby is a civil engineer who I believe missed his calling, should have been an architect, but a real perfectionist so building alterations in and around the home was always done with precision and careful planning, much to my frustration at times as all I wanted was for the work to be completed, never realized all that goes into building a simple arch! Thank you so much for this awesome community 🤗

Lovely post on arches, makes me view them differently now, thank you my friend for sharing.

Thanks my friend, never realised just how many we have here till I did this post! Lovely seeing you here:)

Archways always make design features around the home opening up spaces.

Enjoyed seeing how much good use you have used in arches, those on other buildings as well as that amazing bridge!


Ons has the best view of that bridge when staying at Caribbean Estates, it's beautiful especially when the sun sets, and as you can see, hubby loves incorporating arches into all his building projects.
Thank you so much for the visit, sorry I took so long responding but setting up Silver Bloggers is keeping me busy, I still have so much to do and learn.
Thank you for joining, we have a great bunch already with some real fun tales coming through every so often.
Have a wonderful week Joan, gorgeous Monday not so!

Trying to get to a place in my mind of happiness, alas a terrible weekend, none the less sun is shining, lovely cooler weather.

Yes the bridge and arches are something I too enjoy, our lounge has three arches separating the dining room, I prefer open to closed spaces.

Will look forward to content coming through on Silver Bloggers, wishing you luck moving forward with this new niche.

Awe Joan I'm so sorry to hear that!

At least the sun is out again, although still a tad chilly, but I much prefer this to that heat.

We've had some real fun blogs already and some useful info in the Silver Bloggers already, thank you for the good wishes, I was going to ask you to help with that, I'm very green with that! So far our friend @papilloncharity has been a great help, but there's still a ton to do and learn on my side!
I'm just happy we've got such awesome members already;)

So glad Stephen is able to assist you and will post once settled again, find time is limited, wish sometimes I had some more of my 'own time' to do what I wish, but hey life goes on, not so?

Hey @lizelle, here is a little bit of BEER from @joanstewart for you. Enjoy it!

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That was very fun and interesting to see all the arches in design and structure. I am going to start looking at them in my daily life and see how many arches I can see.