The geodesic dome was “invented” by Walter Bauersfeld in 1923 while building a planetarium project for Carl Zeiss Optical. Geodesic domes are very strong structures and can bear a huge amount of load because they are made of interconnected triangles. The triangle is a stable shape in itself. The entire structure of interconnected triangles becomes tough since the triangles prevent each other from getting distorted. Check out some amazing facts about Geodesic Domes in this article –
1. First developed by Walter Bauersfeld in 1923, the geodesic dome was modified by Richard Buckminster Fuller. He made the geodesic domes on the basis of polyhedral structure. These domes were designed so that they can be easily made with as less material as possible while occupying the maximum area.
2. Geodesic domes are firm structures that can withstand storms and earthquakes.
3. Geodesic domes, though mostly used to build greenhouses, might be ideal for making homes because of the uniform distribution of air and sound in them. They have excellent clairaudience. These advantages are besides the fact that they are quite sturdy.
4. The very first geodesic dome was the Jena Planetarium (1926) by Walter Bauersfeld. The term “geodesic” was used for the first time in the year 1940.
5. In his 1967 project, Buckminster Fuller made a Geodesic Dome using only one-fiftieth of the material that would be needed by ordinary structures to cover the same amount of area. This project is known as the “Montreal Biosphere”.
6. The Montreal Biosphere of 1967 was the first depiction of a geodesic dome. (Image Source: archeyes.com)
7. The “Montreal Biosphere” made by assembling identical triangles demonstrated maximum efficiency with minimum effort. It measures 76 meters in diameter and 62 meters in height.
8. Larger geodesic domes are more resistant. In 1952, when Buckminster built the first geodesic dome, the dome had some flaws in leakage, temperature control, ambient noise and was fragile.
9. In 1953, Fuller displayed the excellent eradication of all the earlier flaws through the Ford Dome.
10. The larger domes are more stable because of “synergetic forces”. That is, the more the number of triangles, the better is the strength of the entire structure or the individual triangles do not matter, but together, combined, they make an invincible structure.
11. The geodesic dome was depicted in the movie “The Truman Show” (1998), in which the inhabitants of the dome are oblivious of the world that exists outside the dome.
12. Geodesic domes are made for building observatories, planetariums, radars, exhibition halls, greenhouses, etc.
13. Geodesic domes resemble carbon molecules known as “Buckyballs”. These buckyballs are highly stable and are made of pentagons and hexagons.
How Are Geodesic Domes Built?
Essentially made of triangles, a geodesic dome is made by putting together hexagons or pentagons made from the equilateral triangles.