A question often asked in technical interviews revolves around the shape of manhole covers. Piqued in order to engage one’s manner of thinking, this question can point at the power of circles and the ultrastrong nature of spheres. When there are no corners, no beginning or end, there is no singular point of weakness. The whole, gathered together, is strong. This is the idea behind geodesic domes–our potential homes and workplaces of the future.
But what is a geodesic dome?
This structure, while relatively simplistic, provides a much stronger support system than the majority of rectangular constructions. They contain a series of angled triangles that connect at pivotal points to offer a forcible strength. While they can embody a structure similar to a polyhedron, they represent an almost sphere-like quality similar to the shape of the globe, almost mimicking the skyline of the heavens. While the heyday of domes for residential purposes was back in the 1960s and early 1970s, the popularity of these domes has grown in recent years. With the rise of environmental awareness and the ever-increasing need to feel unique as populations expand, the idea of owning and/or operating out of a geodesic dome becomes appealing. They offer a lot of potential for both personal and communal use.
While using a geodesic dome to build a home is energy efficient, eco-friendly, and easy to build in comparison to a contemporary rectangular construction, the unique appeal of the design can set a residential home apart from its neighbors. The possibilities for both the interior and exterior expressions with these domes is as limitless as their spherical design. Talk about curb appeal.
There are also a number of domes used for communal and commercial purposes, from Antarctica to Australia and from China to the United States. Many domes have the capacity to hold many more people than traditional large structures of a box shape. These often are seen from a distance as a landmark and unique specimen to an area. There are several sports complexes, such as the Superior Dome, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, as well as botanical gardens and amusement parks (Disney’s Epcot). Entire communities could exist beneath the arch of a geodesic dome, and the idea is quite appealing. There is currently a complex, know as the Eden Project, that contains several large domes that are used as greenhouses for the purpose of containing thousands of floral life from around the globe. Perhaps we like mimicking or field of existence, our planet, on a smaller scale. The future relationship we could foster with these domes will speak volumes about the progression of architecture and man’s consciousness for both the planet and the human race.
Imagine entire cities of geodesic domes.