Once Upon a Geodesic Dome

Posted on September 19, 2010


A few weeks back I helped a friend construct a geodesic dome for an islamic art workshop at the V&A in London. There are various ways of triangulating a dome or sphere (I believe the Bucky method produced a dome entirely of equilaterals) and I was not responsible for the calculations in this instance but essentially we split the dome into six equal pentagons, five standing in a circle with outer most points touching (ala ring a ring o’ roses) and one on top connecting the top most points. All spaces between the pentagons are nice convenient equilateral triangles and the pentagons themselves can be triangulated into equal isosceles triangles.

Our dome was slightly squatty possibly due to the over engineering choice of material, namely some lengths of 4×2. This method can produce a much smoother, more spherical dome if using something light like bamboo but I rather like the more rugged, solid presence of this excursion.