Architecture is one of the most valuable forms of knowledge in which humans have combined art and engineering to raise structures that defy our wildest expectations. Buildings across history have innovated countless technologies and methods to raise the stakes higher and higher.
Several iconic designs have defined the beauty of architectural genius, from skyscrapers to suspended bridges. Amongst them, geodesic domes stand out as futuristic, minimalistic symbols of efficiency and beauty.
A Brief History of the Dome
The first experiments involving geodesic dome structures were done right after World War I when the chief engineer of a German optic company used this design to build a planetarium. In the US, the geodesic dome design received a patent in 1954. Around that time, Buckminster Fuller and his students built several domes. The American architect also coined the term we use today.
Here are three iconic geodesic dome structures from around the world:
Biosphere of Montreal
Designed by one of the pioneers of geodesic dome engineering, Buckminster Fuller, the Biosphere served as the location for World’s Fair Exhibition in 1967. The structure is a 2/3 sphere made of steel and acrylic covering bejewels the Montreal landscape to this day.
The Eden Project
The Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, shows that geodesic domes are perfect for greenhouses. The largest biodome structure in the world, it sparks the imagination of what agriculture would look like on other planets we might inhabit one day. The domes are constructed of steel frames with ETFE panels.
You can visit one of the most impressive geodesic domes in Paris, France. La Géode holds a movie theatre, and its foundation is attached to the largest science museum in Europe, the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie. The most distinguishing trait of La Géode is its mirror steel plates that reflect the scenery.
What is a Geodesic Dome
Humans have built domes for millennia, as arches are able to sustain weight in a way that permits taller structures with a unique round design.
The novelty brought by the geodesic dome is the fact that it bases its structural strength on a series of connected triangles. Because of the strength of the triangle, compared to an arch, geodesic domes are more sustainable than classic designs.
Ancient domes hold their hemispherical shape due to the distribution of forces across the masonry. The laws of physics at play cause builders to use a certain height and shape that also depend on the materials used.
What Are Geodesic Domes Made Of?
Geodesic domes combine a few principles that allow them to be uniquely efficient in using materials to create the most volume inside. The best material to build a frame for a geodesic dome remains as steel, as it is durable and flexible enough to work with the curves and angles of the panels.
Contact RW Steel for All Your Steel Needs
RW Steel specialises in manufacturing and producing high-quality galvanised steel products for all your construction needs. While you may not be looking to build a geodesic dome, there are countless other uses for galvanised steel in an everyday setting, such as with steel retaining wall posts. Whatever your steel needs are, contact RW Steel today for a free consultation to see how we can help.