Geodesic Domes

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Spaceship Earth
The Spaceship Earth (Disney), Orlando, Florida, USA. Opened on 1982. The sphere has a diameter of 50 meters. Google Map
montreal biosphere 20eee s
Montreal Biosphere, in Montreal, Canada. Built in 1967. This sphere is 76 meters in diameter and 62 meters high. 2880×2160 image source Google Map

Note that the common name “geodesic dome” is a misnomer. The defining qualities of these domes is the fact that they are regular, based on Regular polyhedron, in particular, Icosahedron. A geodesic is the shortest path between any two points on a surface. On a sphere, the geodesic is then arcs of great circles. It's misleading to call these domes “geodesic”, because the concept of “geodesic” really has nothing to do with it. You can have a spherical structure where the frames are all geodesics but irregularly placed. A more proper term would be Regular Polyhedron dome, or simply geo dome.

Also, the guy R Buckminster Fuller, a name associated with geo dome, is a kook. He didn't invent geo dome but invented the term “geodesic dome”, and many other pseudo-science such as “Spaceship Earth”, “ephemeralization”, “synergetic”, “tensegrity sphere”.

Climatron Missouri Botanical Gardens
Climatron dome, at Missouri Botanical Gardens , Saint Louis, Missouri, USA. 1859. 53 m in diameter. Google Map
Superior Dome Marquette 2009 91b3b s
Superior Dome, 1991. A wooden dome. At Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan, USA. 3500×3000 image source Google Map
Alvernia Studios aa9a0
Alvernia Studios, Poland. Google Map image source
RMF Radio Dome
Alvernia Studios, Poland. Google Map http://www.monolithic.com/domenews/2005/rmf.html
Emmett High School dome
Two 55 diameter monolithic domes. Built in ~1988, at Emmett High School. (Idaho, USA) Google Map http://www.monolithic.com/gallery/schools/emmett/

geodome

Thanks to Stéphane Tsacas for identifying a location.