What is a geodesic dome?
The term geodesic is from Latin and means “earth dividing.” A geodesic line is the shortest distance between any two points on a sphere.
The constructions called Domes, are geodesic structures that respond to ancestral geometric constructions that, because of their infrastructure, can be dismantled and do not damage the environment. A “geodesic dome” is a spherical space-frame structure which is composed of a complex network of triangles that, linked, create a self-bracing framework which is structurally strong but elegantly delicate. Its smart design allows massive interior space, free from columns or other supports. All wrapped up in an atmosphere of elegance and delicacy.
One of the oldest large dome in the world is the Rome’s Pantheon, rebuilt around 125 AD. In order to support the weight of the heavy building materials in early domes, the walls beneath were made very thick and the top of the dome became thinner. In the case of the Pantheon in Rome, an open hole or oculus is at the dome’s apex.
It was in 1919 when the idea of combining triangles with the architectural arch was pioneered, and it was a German engineer, Dr. Walther Bauersfeld, who did it. However, it was R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 to 1983) who conceived and popularized the concept of geodesic domes being used as homes. His first patent for a geodesic dome was issued in 1954 and in 1967 his design was shown to the world with “Biosphere” constructed for Expo ’67 in Montreal, Canada.