After the terrible Simone storm this Tuesday… our landscape change: we have a naked dome.
Now with this weird feeling, like losing the skin before winter, I want to remember how was the dome during this September & October:
The first dome that could be called “geodesic” in every respect was designed after World War I by Walther Bauersfeld, for a planetarium in Jena, Germany. Some 20 years later, architect and futurist R. Buckminster Fuller named the dome “geodesic” from field experiments with artist Kenneth Snelson at Black Mountain College in the 1940s. Snelson and Fuller worked developing an engineering principle of continuous tension and discontinuous compression that allowed domes to deploy a lightweight lattice of interlocking triangles (polyhedrons) that could be skinned with a protective cover.
Although Fuller was not the original inventor, he developed the intrinsic mathematics of the dome, thereby allowing the idea to popularise, Fuller took his dome design inspiration from nature, at the structural uniformity of things like snowflakes, seed pods, flowers and crystals and resolved that humans should emulate those simple, strong, and noticeably spherical arrangements. A principle that is Fuller’s hope was that the structure would serve as an economical, efficient way to address the post-World War II housing shortage. The structure is extremely strong for its weight, and Fuller’s idea was to build prefabricated structures that could be delivered on-site by helicopter.
Although the use of domes in the housing industry has been less successful -due much to conservatism in the construction sectors, standard sizes for fittings and decor etc.- as a greenhouse, places like the EDEN project in Great Britain, the Climatron greenhouse at Missouri Botanical Gardens, United States, set an inspiring precedent for the potential of geodesic domes when used for agricultural purposes.
It is this path that we aim to follow with our own dome. A place where food production would be the primary focus. As a complement to summer agriculture, a year round source for crops, that can be grown sustainably using smart and appropriate technology, without the need for fossil fuels. To use renewable resources to store heat and produce the light needed for growing, by way of solar insulation and paneling but also to look at other methods, like that of French inventor Jean Pains’ use of organic compost to create usable bioenergy. Other ideas include applying permaculture principles, for instance a smart use of water to retain heat and reflect light or how animals could fit in to the design to make use of the heat they produce.