Pointed arches were used in Gothic architecture to help support the overhead weight of vaulted ceilings. Rounded arches previously used could not support the increased height, width and weight of new building designs. The concept of the pointed arch operates in a similar manner as two leaning objects.
Equilateral Arch or Pointed Arch
Two sides of a pointed arch lean against each other for support and the increased force and loads placed on the arches from the ceiling is displaced onto the flying buttresses, which are supported by the ground. The increased roof support provided by the pointed arches allowed building walls to be thinner. Decorative details seen on arches were a natural consequence of Gothic design.