This exhibit enables visitors to build a self-supporting Catenary Arch.
An arch is a very stable structure, and has been used in bridges and domes for
centuries. The Catenary Arch is made of individual elements whose contacting
surfaces are perpendicular to the curve of the arc. Once the stones are joined the arch is stable. This is because the blocks in the completed arch press against each other, and transfers its weight to the block below. In this way the arch becomes balanced and stable.
- Put the blocks in the right order on the base to make an arch.
- Lift the plate towards you so that the arch will stand up.
- Remove the base and let the arch stand on it’s own.