#StoriesOnDesignByYellowtrace: Modern Arches in Architecture, Curated by Yellowtrace

 

Today’s Story is dedicated to one of architecture’s most fundamental elements, the one present in its very nomenclature: The Arch.

Perhaps you would have noticed the resurgence of Arches in many modern projects, from architecture and interiors, to furniture and product design. This thousand-year-old architectural element has managed to seamlessly incorporate itself into countless modern projects, becoming one of the strongest design memes in the recent years. Let’s face it, it’s not hard to see why – arches are mega cool, and definitely not only because of the way they look. Arches represent one of the most pivotal developments in the world of architecture, and a feat of structural engineering.

The Arch’s dual purpose, ranging from practical to monumental, featured long throughout history, until advances in building technology phased it out of everyday construction. Yet the arch’s seductive form has managed to make its way back, continuing to be at the heart of some of today’s most awe-inspiring creations, as well as the smallest of applications.

For thousands of years, the arch has formed both the basic structural supports for many buildings, in turn becoming the ultimate visual reference for so many of us. From soaring Gothic cathedrals to ancient Roman viaducts, the arch’s contribution to the world’s greatest architectural monuments cannot be understated.

The arch embodies a remarkable synthesis of weight, compression and construction, continuing to command a compelling and elegant presence today. While modern architecture has found other means of support — namely concrete and steel — the arch remains a widely used and instantly recognisable form with which to shape a structure.

Although the arch is historically frequently linked to Roman times, the Romans were not the ones who invented it. In fact, arches have been used since prehistoric times by ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, and Greeks. However, the purpose of the arch in these cultures was limited to supporting small structures, restricting the scope and scale of buildings. The ancient Romans were the first in Europe, and perhaps the rest of the world, who recognised the advantages of the arch, and exploited its full potential for above ground buildings. How did the Romans achieve this? The answer lies in their version of concrete which was developed using a mixture of lime and volcanic sand, resulting in a very strong and durable material. But the Romans didn’t just stop at the arch – they combined the basic element to form ceilings or roofs, also known as vaults. They also followed the principles of the arch to form hemispherical ceilings and roofs known as domes. (Here’s a random fact for you – an early example of a dome is possibly my most favourite buildings in the world, the Roman Pantheon.)

So, without further ado, today we explore the shifting usage and form of the humble arch, with a series of projects that celebrate its graceful power.

Following is a collection of contemporary private homes, public buildings, galleries, hotels, retails spaces and beyond, that feature a range of semi-circular, elliptical and irregularly shaped arches that, in some cases, provide direct support to the building structures, or simply pay homage to this universally loved, far-reaching architectural element.

Respect.

 

See More ‘Stories on Design’ Curated by Yellowtrace.

 

 

Palazzo della Civilta in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace

Palazzo della Civilta in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace

Palazzo della Civilta in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace

Palazzo della Civilta in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace
Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana in Rome. In 2015, Fendi moved its global office to what is considered to be one of Rome’s most iconic structures. The symmetrical arches and travertine marble are an exceptional example of 20th century Roman architecture, originally commissioned by dictator Benito Mussolini in 1943, and designed by architects Giovanni Guerrini, Ernesto Bruno La Padula and Mario Romano. The building was most recently renovated by local architect Marco Costanzi.

Palazzo della Civilta in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace
Special feature on Fendi FW15 collection shot at the Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana for the October issue of Harpers Bazaar UK. So much love!

Fendi Flagship Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Fendi Retail Flagship in Rome references the arches of Fendi’s HQ at Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana via this incredible embossed travertine wall. So good, it’s sick. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.


 

Arches Boulogne by Antonini Darmon | Yellowtrace
 Arches Boulogne, France by Antonini Darmon. Photo © Pierre l’Excellent.

Arches Boulogne by Antonini Darmon | Yellowtrace
Arches Boulogne, France by Antonini Darmon. Photo © Benoit Fougeirol.


 

Da Chang Muslim Cultural Center by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT | Yellowtrace

Da Chang Muslim Cultural Center by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT | Yellowtrace

Da Chang Muslim Cultural Center by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT | Yellowtrace

Da Chang Muslim Cultural Center by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT | Yellowtrace


Da Chang Muslim Cultural Center by Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT. Photography by Yao Li.


 

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace

Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee | Yellowtrace
Vault House in California by Johnston Marklee. Photography by Eric Staudenmaier.


 

Brother House by Hiroshi Kuno Associates | Yellowtrace

Brother House by Hiroshi Kuno Associates | Yellowtrace

Brother House by Hiroshi Kuno Associates | Yellowtrace
Brother House in Otaru, Japan by Hiroshi Kuno Associates.


 

Courtyard in Kudamatsu by Container Design | Yellowtrace

Courtyard in Kudamatsu by Container Design | Yellowtrace

Courtyard in Kudamatsu by Container Design | Yellowtrace

Courtyard in Kudamatsu by Container Design | Yellowtrace

Courtyard in Kudamatsu by Container Design | Yellowtrace
Courtyard in Kudamatsu, Japan by Container Design. Photography by Eiji Tomita.


 

Penda Hongkun Art Gallery in Beijing | Yellowtrace

Penda Hongkun Art Gallery in Beijing | Yellowtrace
Hongkun Art Gallery in Beijing, China by penda. Photography by Xia Zhi.


 

Snow Apartment by Penda | Yellowtrace

Snow Apartment by Penda | Yellowtrace

Snow Apartment by Penda | Yellowtrace
The Snow Apartment in China by penda.


 

 

Lee Matthews by Studio Etic | Yellowtrace

Lee Matthews by Studio Etic | Yellowtrace
Lee Matthews store by Studio Etic. Photography by Sean Fennessy.


 

Wedding Planning Venue by Ryo Matsui Architects | Yellowtrace
Wedding Planner’s Office in Japan by Ryo Matsui Architects. Photography Masato Kawano/Nacasa & Partners.


 

Ferguson Center for the Arts at CNU by Pei Cobb Freed Partners | Yellowtrace
Ferguson Center for the Arts at CNU by Pei Cobb Freed Partners.


 

Church of San Giovanni Battista by Mario Botta Mogno, Switzerland | Yellowtrace
Church of San Giovanni Battista in Switzerland by Mario Botta Mogno. 


 

Aquazzura Flagship in New York by Ryan Korban | Yellowtrace

Aquazzura Flagship in New York by Ryan Korban | Yellowtrace

Aquazzura Flagship in New York by Ryan Korban | Yellowtrace
Aquazzura Flagship in New York by Ryan Korban.


 

Naive Champagne Bar Kiev Ukraine by AKZ Architectura | Yellowtrace
Naive Champagne Bar Kiev Ukraine by AKZ Architectura.


 

NANAN Patisserie in Wroclaw, Poland by BUCKSTUDIO | Yellowtrace
NANAN Patisserie in Wroclaw, Poland by BUCKSTUDIO. Photography by PION Basia Kuligowska & Przemysław Nieciecki.


 

Noglu Restaurant in Paris by Mathieu Lehanneur | Yellowtrace
Noglu Restaurant in Paris by Mathieu Lehanneur. Photo by Michel Giesbrecht.


 

 

Acne Studios Milan Store | Yellowtrace

Acne Studios Milan Store | Yellowtrace
Acne Studios new Milan Store in Brera.


 

Mam Store in Barcelona by Guillermo Santomà & Diego Ramos | Yellowtrace
Mam Store in Barcelona by Guillermo Santomà & Diego Ramos. Photography by José Hevia.


 

Monk House Design by Flack Studio | Yellowtrace
Monk House Design by Flack Studio. Photography by Sean Fennessy.


 

Hues Hair in Richmond, Melbourne by Adriana Hanna | Yellowtrace

Hues Hair in Richmond, Melbourne by Adriana Hanna | Yellowtrace
Hues Hair in Richmond, Melbourne by Adriana Hanna. Photography © Dan Hocking.


 

Alice McCALL Emporium Melbourne Store by Studio Wonder | Yellowtrace
Alice McCALL Emporium Melbourne Store by Studio Wonder. Photo by Tom Blachford.


 

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace.

Antonino Cardillo, House of Dust in Rome, Italy | Yellowtrace.
House of Dust in Rome, Italy by Antonino Cardillo.


 

Apartment on Mariano Cubí Street, Barcelona | Yellowtrace
Apartment on Mariano Cubí Street, Barcelona by Arquitectura-G. Photo © José Hevia.


 

Contemporary Heritage: Lisbon Apartment Renovation by Aurora Arquitectos | Yellowtrace
Lisbon Apartment Renovation by Aurora Arquitectos. Photo © Do Mal o Menos.


 

Gallery Inspired Melbourne Apartment Renovation by BoardGrove Architects | Yellowtrace
Gallery Inspired Melbourne Apartment Renovation by BoardGrove Architects. Photography by Haydn Cattach.


 

Casa Lluna by CAVAA Arquitectes | Yellowtrace

Casa Lluna by CAVAA Arquitectes | Yellowtrace
Casa Lluna in Spain by CAVAA Arquitectes. Photography by Adrià Goula.


 

 

Charming Unfinished Character of Salsa Beckett in Barcelona Refurbished by Flores & Prats | Yellowtrace
Charming Unfinished Character of Salsa Beckett in Barcelona Refurbished by Flores & Prats. Photography by Adrià Goula.


 

Tiramisu Delishoes Fashion Restaurant Dessert Bar | Yellowtrace
Tiramisu Delishoes Fashion Store + Dessert Bar in Milan.


 

Workshop Brothers Glen Waverley by Studio Esteta | Yellowtrace
Workshop Brothers Glen Waverley by Studio Esteta. Photo by Tessa Ross-Phelan.


 

Stylecraft Sydney Showroom | Yellowtrace

Stylecraft Sydney Showroom | Yellowtrace
StylecraftHOME Sydney Showroom by HASSELL. Photography by Felix Forest.


 

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace

Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons | Yellowtrace
Eden Locke Edinburgh Hotel by Grzywinski+Pons. Photography by Nicholas Worley.


 

OGGI by Studio Gram | Yellowtrace

OGGI by Studio Gram | Yellowtrace
Osteria Oggi in Adelaide, South Australia by Studio Gram. Photography by David Sievers.


 

Buena Vista Hotel in Mosman, Australia by SJB | Yellowtrace
Buena Vista Hotel in Mosman, Australia by SJB. Photo by Felix Forest.


 

Ester Restaurant & Bar by Anthony Gill Architects, Sydney | Yellowtrace
Ester Restaurant & Bar by Anthony Gill Architects, Sydney. Photog by Peter Bennetts.


 

 

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace

Modern Cave by Pitsou Kedem Architects | Yellowtrace
Modern Cave in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel by Pitsou Kedem Architects. Photography by Amit Geron.


 

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace

The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero | Yellowtrace
The Labyrinth Home of Xavier Corbero in Barcelona. Photography by Jerome Galland, courtesy of AD France.


 

The Factory by Ricardo Bofill | Yellowtrace

The Factory by Ricardo Bofill | Yellowtrace

The Factory by Ricardo Bofill | Yellowtrace
Ricardo Bofill’s Epic Home Within an Old Cement Factory in Spain. Images © Ricardo Bofill & Richard Powers.


 

Reframe by Alexandru Fleseriu + Peter Eszter | Yellowtrace

Reframe by Alexandru Fleseriu + Peter Eszter | Yellowtrace
Reframe in Romania by Alexandru Fleșeriu + Péter Eszter. Photography by Alexandru Fleșeriu.


 

Everlane Fashion Store | Yellowtrace
Everlane’s Shoe Store Pop-Up Designed by Robert Storey.


 

Vault Room in Brussels by 51N4E | Yellowtrace

Vault Room in Brussels by 51N4E | Yellowtrace

Vault Room in Brussels by 51N4E | Yellowtrace
Vault Room in Brussels by 51N4E.


 

Arch Wall House by Naf Architect & Design | Yellowtrace

Arch Wall House by Naf Architect & Design | Yellowtrace
Arch Wall House in Hachioji, Japan by Naf Architect & Design. Photography by Toshiyuki Yano.


 

Japanese Community Centre for Elderly Residents by Issei Suma | Yellowtrace
Japanese Community Centre for Elderly Residents by Issei Suma. Photo by Takumi Ota.


 

 

Town Folktales by FON STUDIO | Yellowtrace

Town Folktales by FON STUDIO | Yellowtrace

Town Folktales by FON STUDIO | Yellowtrace
Town Folktales in China by FON STUDIO.


 

Broadview Loft by Studio AC | Yellowtrace

Broadview Loft by Studio AC | Yellowtrace
Broadview Loft in Toronto, Canada by Studio AC. Photography © Andrew Snow Photography.


 

Ezra Lemarpe Medical Rehabilitation Center by Weinstein Vaadia Architects | Yellowtrace

Ezra Lemarpe Medical Rehabilitation Center by Weinstein Vaadia Architects | Yellowtrace

Ezra Lemarpe Medical Rehabilitation Center by Weinstein Vaadia Architects | Yellowtrace
Ezra Lemarpe Medical Rehabilitation Center in Israel by Weinstein Vaadia Architects. Photography © Amit Geron.


 

Avadh Shilpgram by Archohm | Yellowtrace

Avadh Shilpgram by Archohm | Yellowtrace

Avadh Shilpgram by Archohm | Yellowtrace

Avadh Shilpgram by Archohm | Yellowtrace
Avadh Shilpgram in India by Archohm. Photography by Andre J. Fanthome.


 

Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito Associates | Yellowtrace

Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito Associates | Yellowtrace

Tama Art University Library by Toyo Ito Associates | Yellowtrace
Tama Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan by Toyo Ito Associates. Photography by Iwan Baan.


 

Specus Corallii by Antonino Cardillo | Yellowtrace

Specus Corallii by Antonino Cardillo | Yellowtrace
Specus Corallii (The Coral Cave) in Trapani, Italy by Antonino Cardillo.


 

St Moritz Church by John Pawson | Yellowtrace
St Moritz Church in Germany by John Pawson. Photo by Gilbert McCarragher.


 

John Pawson - Plain Space by Peter Guthrie | Yellowtrace

John Pawson - Plain Space by Peter Guthrie | Yellowtrace
John Pawson’s Plain Space Exhibition at the Design Museum London.


 

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