Geodesic Domes

Britta Gustafson / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Geodesic domes are enjoying a resurgence as more people seek out eco-friendly building options . Architect Buckminster Fuller invented the geodesic dome. The American Institute of Architects calls it “the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space known to man.”

No doubt you’ve seen geodesic domes before. Some as public structures, some as private homes, but it’s safe to say that they make a statement regardless of their function. Geodesic domes stand out in a crowd because of their unique shape and their futuristic quality.

“Futuristic” is perhaps the exact right way to classify a geodesic dome. One of Fuller’s intentions when creating it was to address a housing crisis that he foresaw. Building a geodesic dome is less expensive than traditional building because it uses far less material. It’s also more structurally sound than any other style of home.

Geodesic domes are built out of individual triangles, able to withstand Mother Nature’s assaults while simultaneously using all that nature has to offer to heat and cool the dome. This is all without the loss of energy and at a significantly lower energy cost than traditional homes.

If you’re considering a geodesic dome of your own, dome builders can help. You may also consider building one of your own, in which case, there are several companies crafting dome building kits you’ll want to check out.

To get a better idea of the different ways geodesic domes are being used, let’s explore some public, business, and private structures.

Greenhouse Dome

Meet Jakob and Anna from Alberta, Canada 🇨🇦 "We both grew up on mostly self-sufficient homesteads in central Asia, and had to learn early how to grow and preserve our own food and care for animals. We lived a simple life and made the most out of what we had. Our parents set an example that still inspires us today. We always grew plants in pots but only started having a real garden after relocating to Canada 10 years ago. That's also when we took the plunge into gardening in cold climate and blogging about it. Our urban homestead is in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta, Canada – plant hardiness zone 3A, elevation 1,037 m (3,402 ft), yep it’s cold here. True to the saying “Bloom Where You Are Planted” we try to make the best out of it. We turned our home into a homestead, our yard into a garden, and the old garage into a food production place. Our passion for growing food particularly intensified when we realized how the homegrown food had a positive effect on our health. As long as I can remember I have had a weakened immune system, which has completely changed in the last decade. Jakob has had some bad allergies that since are gone for good. Despite having only about 100 frost free days we grow year round a huge portion of our food. In the summer we grow most of the root vegetables and summer crops we need on our 1/8 of an acre lot and community/farm garden, and preserve them for the winter. A greenhouse is almost a must have in a northern climate to overcome our biggest challenge – cold and frost. Jakob built a Geodesic Dome greenhouse, a cold frame, and an indoor growing room at the back of our garage where we grow food all winter long. When we first started we knew nothing about cold climate gardening. We were very grateful to find information online from other growers who willingly shared their knowledge. With our Northern Homestead blog we want to pay forward and be an inspiration to all cold climate homesteaders and winter gardeners." Blog: http://northernhomestead.com Facebook page: Northern Homestead

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Imagine growing veggies year-round in this 30-foot geodesic greenhouse dome. Tomatoes in January, anyone?

The Geodesic Dome House

the geodesic dome house
Britta Gustafson / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Built in the ’70s by a graduate student at University of California, Santa Barbara, this geodesic dome has a place in architecture history!

The Gold Dome

Built after Buckminster Fuller’s original prototype, The Gold Dome in Shreveport, LA is used as a 3,000-seat multi-purpose arena.

National Bowling Stadium

geodesic dome
rocor / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Located in Reno, NV, the National Bowling Stadium was built to resemble a bowling ball. The structure cost over $47 million dollars to complete and is referred to as the “Taj Mahal of tenpins”.

The Climatron At The Missouri Botanical Garden

The Climatron Greenhouse at the Missouri Botanical Garden, made of a geodesic dome, simulates the climate of a rain forest and is used for conservational and educational purposes.

The Biosphere

geodesic dome
Nic Redhead / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Designed by Buckminster Fuller himself, the Biosphere is a museum in Montreal dedicated to the environment.

Russell Township ASM Headquarters And Geodesic Dome

geodesic dome
Ohio Redevelopment Projects / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Located in Geauga County, Ohio, this geodesic dome is the headquarters for ASM International, a professional organization for materials scientists and engineers. The structure was built in 1958.

Lakeside Geodesic Dome

An eco-friendly alternative to a lakeside home, check out this geodesic structure right on the water.

Chabot Space And Science Center

Dear @chabotspace me and my son love ❤️ to visit the facility it's in amazin location. A Hidden Serene n breathtaking Atmosphere all in one that's nestled in the hills. The building is really designed cool as well a lot of cool dimensions & designs. And the Concept is on point Buuuut can you guys on the board please brainstorm ways to make it more stimulating n entertaining for the kids while they are curious to learning science. I kno it's could be a pretty difficult subject to make appealing to kids but I have sum ideas 💡 in Mind #oakland #science #planets #blackscientist #spaceshipearth #astronauts #funlearning #nasa #cityofoakland #chabotspaceandsciencecenter #kidsandscience #makesciencefun #makesciencecool

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The Chabot Space and Science Center, located in Oakland, CA, is one of northern California’s leading centers for informal science education.

The Omaha Zoo

This geodesic dome encapsulates a desert climate at the Omaha Zoo, while housing nocturnal animals underneath.

The Barbican Gallery

barbican dome
Ben B / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Located in London, the Barbican Art Gallery claims twin geodesic domes built as a pavilion by the waterside as part of their Radical Nature summer show.

EcoPod

If you’re not already a camper, you may rethink your stance if you could stay in a dome like this.

Minimalist Dome Home

Just as cozy and inviting as a traditional home but with all the benefits of a geodesic structure.

Custom Dome Home

Who says a geodesic dome home can’t be luxurious? No doubt this home gets noticed!

Traditional Geodesic Home

This home perfectly blends the traditional exterior of modern homes with the architecture of a geodesic dome.

Geodesic Home Master Bath

The interior of a geodesic home offers unique design opportunities. Notice how this home captures the natural light pouring in through the windows.

Wooden Geodesic Dome

Create your own ecosystem with a wooden geodesic dome like this. Wooden domes are also popular builds for children to play in.

Geodesic Dome Skylight

Imagine a skylight of this size! This structure was built over a sunken garden.

Oceanside Geodesic Dome

#geodesicdome house near the ocean #keylargo #dome #coolhouse

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Maximize the eco-friendly opportunities living by the ocean provides with a geodesic home in a tropical paradise.

Geodesic Dome Event Tent

The stability of a geodesic dome make them an ideal option for an event tent. The interior of this space can easily be transformed to look magical.

Meditation Geodesic Dome

The design elements of a geodesic dome create a tranquil space to be used for meditative purposes.

Geodesic Dome Camping

This is a new and unique way to enjoy the Alps. May not be ideal for the faint of heart.

Craftsman Geodesic Dome

Located in Ohio, this home blends a Craftsman style into this family’s geodesic dome.

Written by Jessica Barrett Halcom

Jessica is an outdoor enthusiast who can be found dreaming up any excuse to make her way to the woods, the mountains, or the beach. Growing up in the country in a small town in Wisconsin, she had aspirations of one day moving to a big city to make her living as a writer. Her love of the country won out over the city, and though she makes her living writing, she has chosen the hills of Tennessee as her home where she lives with her family.

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