“Although the Geodesic Dome originated in Germany in 1922 (designed to house a planetarium projector), the form did not become popular until the mid-20th century when the basic form was produced as prefabricated model kits. Geodesic domes have been used for practically every building type, including residences, recreation buildings, pavilions, military units, etc. Widely published in pattern books such as Domebook I (1969) and Domebook II (1971), the simplicity of the form allowed amateur builders to construct Geodesic Domes at their own leisure and they often became identified with alternative lifestyles. Although many domes were built over the last half a century, dome construction never became a dominant trend. Most remaining examples are found as single structures in isolated, informal settings.
The Geodesic Dome, much promoted by architect and engineer R. Buckminster Fuller, who patented the design in 1954, is created by a complex system of wood or metal triangular frames. When assembled, all planes are straight flat surfaces that result in a self-reinforcing roof and wall structure all in one frame, eliminating the need for any load-bearing interior walls. Dome frames are clad in a variety of materials, including asphalt and cedar shingles on small buildings and metal or plastic on larger structures. Skylights, dormers, cupolas, and flat-roofed wings are typically found along the dome’s surfaces.”
- Structure is composed of Wood, or Metal Triangular Frames
- Shakes, Shingles or Fiberglass covers the plywood panels laid over the frame
- Skylights and Dormer windows typical
- Sliding glass doors common
- Plexi-glass windows are common
- Concrete Foundation
- Lean-to Addition or Flat-roofed Wings common for increasing area
- Higgins, Alan. “Architectural Movements of the Recent Past,” PDF.
- Higgins, Alan. “Architectural Movements of the Recent Past”, PDF.