© 2015. This paper compares the compression and uplift capacity of a strip foundation from numerical coupled analyses using the Modified Cam Clay (MCC) soil model. The focus is on the failure mechanism and pore pressure development in the soil. Triaxial compression and tension tests were first modelled to develop a rigorous understanding of the pore pressure responses; then, the compression and uplift of a strip foundation were modelled. The results show that the balance of excess pore pressures due to the changes in mean total stress and deviatoric stress during the compression and uplift of a strip foundation are different, although the ultimate undrained capacities are identical. Furthermore, the resistance and excess pore pressure responses during uplift differ from those in compression under the K0-consolidated condition because of the elastic unloading. Although the failure mechanisms have identical shape and size between undrained compression and uplift, the pore pressure distribution in the soil is different and affects the load-displacement behaviours under partially drained compression and uplift.