shallow arch windows in architectural design

A shallow arch refers to an architectural arch that has a relatively wide span with a gentle, flattened curvature. Unlike a true arch, which is perfectly semicircular, a shallow arch has a less pronounced curve. Shallow arches are extremely popular for both period and modern architectural design for several reasons:

Aesthetic variation

Shallow arches provide a different aesthetic compared to traditional, deeply curved arches. They can lend a sense of openness and modernity to a space, making them a choice in contemporary architecture. They align well with modern and contemporary architectural styles that emphasise clean, minimalist designs and can complement sleek and uncluttered facades, which can be appealing to anyone who appreciates modern aesthetics.

Shallow arches exude an understated elegance and simplicity in their design and their clean lines and flattened curves can contribute to a sense of refinement and sophistication.


In some cases, a shallow arch may be more practical for architectural purposes. For example, when designing large openings like doorways or windows, a shallow arch may provide the necessary structural support while allowing for a more straightforward installation of doors or windows.


Shallow arches are versatile and can be employed in various architectural styles. They can be tailored to suit specific design preferences and structural requirements, making them practical for a wide range of projects.

Spatial considerations

Shallow arches have a flatter profile compared to traditional, deeply curved arches. In areas where height restrictions are a concern, such as low ceilings or narrow openings, shallow arches can be a suitable choice because they require less vertical clearance than deeply curved arches. They allow more efficient utilisation of vertical space.

Functional integration

Shallow arches can be combined with other architectural elements, such as lintels or horizontal beams, to create unique and visually appealing designs that blend arches with straight lines and angles. They can also help maintain visual balance in architectural compositions, especially in situations where deeply curved arches may appear overly ornate or dominate the design.

It’s important to note that the choice between a shallow arch, a true arch, or a pointed arch, for example, depends on the design goals, architectural style, and structural considerations of a particular project. Shallow arches provide architects with a valuable tool for achieving specific design objectives while maintaining the fundamental characteristics of arches in architectural compositions.

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