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15 Famous Geodesic Domes: A Must-See for Dome Lovers

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The geodesic dome uses polygonal planes combined into a spherical structure without internal support, making it spacious and more adaptable. Maybe you're a dome lover or just engaging in a variety of tent businesses, but you must be blown away by the beauty and sturdiness of the geodesic dome. This article will take you through 15 famous geodesic domes and how stunning they are.

1)Astana Expo 2017 Sphere (Astana, KZ)

World's largest spherical geodesic dome.

Astana Expo 2017 Sphere

The landmark building of the World Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan, shows the blend of modern technology and architecture. Designed by the renowned Chicago firm Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, it stands 100 meters high and 80 meters in diameter, covering a total area of 24,000 square meters. The construction of this unique eight-story structure required over 13,000 tons of metal and 3,535 insulated glass windows weighing 1,626 tons.

2)Spaceship Earth (Orlando, FL, USA)

The first large-scale, completed geodesic sphere ever built.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is located in Epcot at Disney World in Florida, USA. It's one of the most iconic buildings at Epcot. Disney designer John Hench was inspired by Buckminster Fuller to expand the three-quarter sphere of the Biosphere into a full sphere. It was completed in 1982 and took 26 months to build. It's about 180 feet (55 meters) high and 165 feet (50 meters) in diameter. The exterior is made up of about 11,324 reflective aluminum and plastic alloy panels, and it's supported by six columns and an interior tower. In Spaceship Earth, visitors can ride time-machine vehicles to explore the remarkable history of human communication from the Stone Age to the computer age.

3)La Géode (Paris, France)

A shiny geodesic dome holds an exceptional Omnimax theater.

La Géode

La Géode was built in 1975 in the heart of the Parc de la Villette, Paris, France. It was designed by Adrien Fainsilber and engineer Gérard Chamayou. La Géode is a giant steel sphere, 36 meters in diameter and covered with 6,433 stainless steel triangles, each 1.5 meters long, which reflect the beautiful scenery.

The holographic theater inside is equipped with a 70-foot (21-meter)-diameter screen, which is one of the largest screens in the world and covers almost the entire room. It provides the audiences with the spectator experience of being inside. La Géode has been closed since the end of 2018 and will reopen in 2024 to discover this amazing new site.

4)Science World (Vancouver, Canada)

A landmark symbol of Vancouver.

The Dome Of Science World

Science World in Vancouver is a non-profit science center dedicated to enhancing science education through diverse activities and exhibits. Designed by Bruno Freschi, it was rebuilt from the Expo 86 Exhibition Centre and opened in 1989. Science World's iconic dome has a diameter of approximately 36 meters (118 feet) and stands about 27 meters (89 feet) tall.

In addition to exploring the marvels of science, visitors can experience the largest screen theater in western Canada at Science World. The theater has a screen diameter of 27 meters, providing an immersive cinematic experience.

5) Ontario Place Cinesphere(Toronto, ON, Canada)

A popular geodesic movie dome in Toronto.

The Ontario Place Cinesphere

The Ontario Place Cinesphere is located in Toronto, Ontario. The Cinesphere is a geodesic dome structure measuring 35 meters (115 feet) wide, with an outer radius of 19 meters (62 feet) and an inner radius of 17 meters (56 feet). It is supported by prefabricated steel and aluminum alloy tubes, designed by Eberhard Zeidler. It was the world's first permanent IMAX theater when it opened in 1971, marking it as a historically significant venue.

6) The Climatron (Missouri, USA)

The first geodesic conservatory dome.

The Climatron

The Climatron is the first geodesic dome to be used as a conservatory, located in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1960. It was designed by the St. Louis architectural firm Murphy and Mackey and inspired by the concepts of R. Buckminster Fuller. It's 70 feet tall at the center and 175 feet in diameter at the base, with 1.3 million cubic feet of space and over 24,000 square feet (more than half an acre) of coverage. Inside, the environment is maintained at a computer-controlled temperature and humidity level, replicating the conditions of a rainforest. This setup supports the growth of over 2,800 plants, including 1,400 different tropical species.

7) Biosphere of Montreal (Montreal, Québec)

One of Buckminster Fuller's notable works.

Biosphere Of Montreal

The Biosphère de Montréal is located on Île Sainte-Hélène in Montreal, Québec. Designed by renowned architect Buckminster Fuller for the 1967 World Expo, it was originally the United States Pavilion, showcasing the Apollo spacecraft and American art. The structure features a steel frame with a diameter of 76 meters and a height of 62 meters, originally covered with transparent acrylic panels for a climate-controlled environment.

After a fire in 1976 destroyed the panels, only the steel frame remained. Reopened in the early 1990s as an environmental education center, it now offers interactive activities and demonstrations on green energy, water recycling, and waste management, serving as both an iconic geodesic dome and a hub for environmental action.

8) Eden Project (Cornwall, UK)

The Eden Project is home to the world's largest indoor rainforest.

Eden Project

The Eden Project is located in Cornwall, England. It was designed by Tim Smit to raise awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development. It took two and a half years to build and was completed in March 2001. It has three large greenhouses. The largest is 55 meters (180 feet) high, 100 meters (328 feet) long and 200 meters (656 feet) wide.

These are constructed with tubular steel frames with a transparent material called ETFE. This material is light but very strong, can withstand extreme weather conditions, and has good light transmission.

The Eden Project is a greenhouse that you can visit and also hosts musical performances called the Eden Sessions. It's also been featured in several TV shows and movies, including the 2002 James Bond film Die Another Day and the Netflix series The Last Bus.

9) The Desert Dome (Omaha, NE, USA)

The largest indoor desert in the world.

The Desert Dome

The Desert Dome is located in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. Construction began in October 1999, and it opened to the public in March 2002. It is one of the largest indoor deserts and the largest glass geodesic dome in the world, making it a landmark in Omaha. The dome is 137 feet (42 meters) high and has a diameter of 230 feet (70 meters).

The dome features 1,760 acrylic windows and four types of blackout curtains, some transparent, to control light. This design helps reduce energy costs by blocking out light in the summer and allowing it in during the winter.

10) Bloedel Conservatory (Vancouver, Canada)

The first and largest geodesic dome conservatory in Canada.

Bloedel Conservatory

The Bloedel Conservatory was opened in 1969 in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park. It is a beautiful park with more than 500 kinds of plants from around the world and is home to more than 100 free-flying exotic birds. The Bloedel Conservatory's geodesic dome, constructed from 2,324 pieces of aluminum tubing and 1,490 pieces of plexiglass panels, is 140 feet in diameter and 70 feet high.

11) The Dome at The Queen Mary (Long Beach, CA, USA)

An eyecatcher- designed to house the Spruce Goose.

The Dome At The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary's Dome, built in 1958, is largest free-span aluminum geodesic structure in the world, standing 115 feet tall and spanning 400 feet wide. The 12-story geodesic dome was originally built to showcase Howard Hughes, Spruce Goose. After the planes were moved, it was used as a filming location for movies such as The X-Files and Hoops. Today, the dome is used as a luggage handling facility for the Queen Mary's Long Beach Cruise Terminal.

12) Tacoma Dome Construction (Tacoma, WA, USA)

One of the largest wooden domes on earth.

Tacoma Dome Construction

The Tacoma Dome, located in Tacoma, Washington, is a multi-purpose stadium that has been a notable landmark since its opening in 1983. Designed by E. Taylor Gardner, the structure of the Tacoma Dome features a unique combination of materials. Its foundation is constructed from concrete, while its impressive roof is composed of over 1.5 million feet of wooden panels.

The dome spans 530 feet in diameter and stands 152 feet high, and cost $44 million to build. Some of the wood used for the roof was reportedly provided by the Weyerhaeuser Company and was harvested from vast tracts of forest devastated by the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

13) Poliedro de Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela)

A magnificent dome in Venezuela.

Poliedro De Caracas

The Poliedro de Caracas is an indoor sports venue located in Caracas, Venezuela. It was designed by architect Thomas C. Howard, who completed it in 1974. The venue has a geodesic dome design with a diameter of 469 feet (143 meters) and can seat up to 13,500 people, with a total capacity of up to 20,000 attendees.

The Poliedro de Caracas is mainly used for sporting events and concerts, but it's also a versatile venue that can host a wide range of events. It's hosted major international and local concerts, sports competitions, expositions and government exhibitions, like those with Shakira and the Expo Gobierno.

14) The Glass Dome in Dalí Theatre-Museum (Figueres, Spain)

The largest surrealist object in the world.

The Glass Dome In Dalí Theatre Museum

The Dalí Theatre-Museum was built in 1974 on the site of the former Municipal Theatre of Figueres. It's regarded as the last great work of Salvador Dalí. Dalí designed the theater museum, while the dome was created by architect Emilio Pérez Piñero. The steel framework of dome is 39 feet tall and 60 feet in diameter. It's now the emblem of the theater- museum and a great icon for Figueres. This unique design element enhances the surreal atmosphere of the museum, which houses over 1,500 pieces of Dalí's art, including sculptures, paintings, and drawings.

15) Matrimandir (Bommayapalayam, India)

The soul of Auroville.

Matrimandir At Auroville

Matrimandir in Auroville is a spiritual center known for meditation and contemplation. Mirra Alfassa, known as the Mother of Matrimandir, envisioned the temple. It was designed by French architect Roger Anger and took 37 years to complete, from 1971 to 2008. This iconic structure stands approximately 29 meters tall with a diameter of about 36 meters, shaped like a vast golden sphere surrounded by twelve petals.

Conclusion

From high-tech design to classical design, these 15 famous geodesic domes exemplify the beauty and innovation of geodesic architecture. Each dome, with its unique design and historical significance, offers a compelling story and a testament to the enduring appeal of geodesic structures. As you explore these extraordinary domes, you'll discover the beauty of their structures and marvel at their delicate designs.

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