American architect, engineer, designer, inventor, and futurist Buckminster Fuller was best known for popularizing the geodesic dome. The domes are latticed shell structures with a network of circles on the surface that intersect to form triangular elements that have local triangular rigidity, and also distribute the stress across the structure. They are compact, efficient, and an intelligent design.
Bent on expanding and modernizing the geodesic dome, two Danish architects, Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen, exploded the design to create the meeting place and exhibition tent for the Danish National Association for Social Housing, a gathering committed to the exploration of the future of housing.
The structure is undoubtedly beautiful and suited to adapt to the architectural demands of a modern city. This design encourages social interaction through the changes made on its configuration. Unlike the shelled traditional dome, this design is sliced open allowing the manipulation of light and space to cater to social gathering, public spaces, and the overall organization of the space.
In truth, there is only one real problem with this design that has yet to be answered. What made Bucky’s geodesic dome so amazing was the strength created by its shape. Take an earthquake for example - countless of Bucky domes have survived a rattle without any substantial damage. Replace an earthquake for any number of other natural disasters and you will find that, if built with the right material, geodesic domes stand their ground. If you deconstruct the structure of the dome to comply with modern aesthetics, then you risk the integrity of the structure itself.
Luckily, this design is geared towards flexibility, and it seems like alternative materials can substitute to make it a strong and beautiful building.
Image by Kristoffer Tejlgaard, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing. Tweet