The funicular concept can be best described  and visualized with cables or chains,  suspended from two points, that adjust their form for any load in tension.  But funicular  structures may also be  compressed like arches. Yet, although funicular tension  structures adjust their form for pure tension under any load, funicular compression  structures may be subject to bending in addition  to compression since their form is rigid  and not adaptable.  The funicular line for tension and compression are inversely identical;  the form of a cable becomes the form of an arch upside-down.  Thus funicular forms may  be found on tensile elements.

1  Funicular tension triangle under single load
2  Funicular compression triangle under single load
3  Funicular tension trapezoid under twin loads
4  Funicular compression trapezoid under twin loads
5  Funicular tension polygon under point loads
6  Funicular compression polygon under point load
7  Funicular tension parabola under uniform load
8  Funicular compression parabola under uniform load


IBM traveling exhibit by Renzo Piano A series of trussed arches in linear extrusion form a vault space  The trussed arches  consist of wood bars with metal connectors for quick assembly and disassembly as  required for the traveling exhibit.  Plastic  panels form the enclosing skin,  The trussed  arches provide depth and rigidity to accommodate various load conditions

Suspension roof
Exhibit hall Hanover by Thomas Herzog

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