Introduction to our geodesic domes

Our domes are made for people who would like an unusual structure for a home, a classroom, a playroom, a greenhouse, a space to host concerts and theatre productions, dance and yoga workshops.

The domes that we make are portable and when they are packed down the wooden structure and canvas cover take up very little room. We also make domes that have a more permanent feel by insulating them and building a wooden base to put them up on. The interior of a dome can be designed to have a 2nd floor or mezzanine to create more open plan living space.

The dome home can be insulated to provide protection against heat in the summer and to maintain warmth in the cooler seasons. The geometric shapes found within the triangular pattern provide an endless source of possibilities when designing the doors, windows and the canvas cover. People tell us that they are fascinated by the shapes of the dome and that they are spaces that feel good to be in.



Geodesic domes are interesting shapes – and strong

According to the American Institute of Architects the geodesic dome is the “strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space” that humans have developed. It is the upper part of a geodesic hemisphere which consists of a number of triangles connected together to form a rounded shape. The triangle is a very strong shape. There are no external supports, the strength comes from the entire structure sharing equally the stress load.

Domes are being built and bought by people in hurricane areas because the shape of the dome gives it more resilience, it is aerodynamic and the wind curves round the building.

Domes are cheaper and easier to heat. The airflow within a dome is unrestricted and this means that heat is evenly distributed. The spherical shape ensures that radiant heat bounces back to the centre.

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History and uses of the geodesic dome

Dome shaped structures have appeared in human settlements as far back as prehistoric times. Round mud huts and igloos use the shape because it requires less materials to make it and creates a shape where every part is supporting and supported by the other parts. Less surface area is exposed to extreme weather conditions which means that the home is more energy efficient. Also there is something about the round shape that brings people within the space together. As the centre is equidistant to all edges there is a sense of equality and balance within a dome, and this affects the acoustics which are softened by the curved edges of the walls.

The first geodesic dome was built in Germany in 1922 for a planetarium. The form was popularised twenty five years later by the US designer Buckminster Fuller who investigated and promoted their use. His passion was to provide for the needs of humans using the lowest amount of resources; and the geodesic dome was the manifestation of this “doing more with less” guiding principle. A dome uses a third less material to cover the same volume of internal space. The ratio of volume to surface area in a dome is the best ratio of all structures and B. Fuller had a vision of large numbers of the population living in geodesic dome homes. Due to the strength and versatility of the geodesic dome many large-scale domes have been constructed using modern building materials, housing museums and botanic gardens, covering sports grounds and storing grain.

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