Islamic Architecture
Horseshoe arch design
Can anybody tell me about the design of horseshoe arches? The geometry involved and the structural/stylistic purpose of the horseshoe motif? Are there any structural benefits of the horseshoe arch over normal semi-circular, pointed or other arches.
Tom Fraser
Horseshoe arch design
Hello Tom.
I think that these are some of logical key benefits of Horseshoe arches:
1.To provide with a sense of expanse in space.
2.To provide with a wide seat for sitting the foot of arches (better pressure function), However it depends on material pieces arrangment.
3.To provide with a bigger seat in springer point for sit the perch,often made of wood, for steady division of forces into piers.
4.To increase size of critical point (joint of wall and vault)
5.To form a short wall buttress, in some cases which the starting point of arch & ending point of wall are equal(having no consul in joint point)
6. It can also creat more reduction in the weight of porter walls, without danger, in a well-designed structure. In this manner, the discontinuous walls maybe have a better dynamic behaviour from walls with simple arch.
And about the geometry:
1.It seems that the simplest type of horseshoe arch is circular horseshoe(three-quarted of a circle)
You can find its center in intersection of 2 extracting line(from foot points) in angle 45.
2. Horseshoe arches also can be derived from many other arches by extending their geometry down the vertical tangents.
Mahdi Raeisi Nafchi


This site is adjusted only for landscape mode. Please rotate your device for properly using
We are sorry, we are still working on adjusting for Metro IE. Please use another browser for the best experience with our site.