geodesic dome

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geodesic dome

(jē'ədĕs`ĭk, –dē`sĭk), structure that roughly approximates a hemisphere. Popular in recent years as economical, easily erected buildings, geodesic domes are geometrically determined from a model and may be constructed from limited materials. The architect Buckminster FullerFuller, R. Buckminster
(Richard Buckminster Fuller), 1895–1983, American architect and engineer, b. Milton, Mass. Fuller devoted his life to the invention of revolutionary technological designs aimed at solving problems of modern living.
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 was an early proponent of geodesics for housing and other functions. Among the best-known examples of geodesic domes have been the United States Pavilion at Montreal's Expo 67 and Biosphere II, an experimental recreation of the ecosystem in Arizona.

geodesic dome

Consisting of a multiplicity of similar straight linear elements, arranged in triangles or pentagons; the members in tension have a minimal cross section and make up a spherical surface usually in the shape of a dome.
See also: Dome

geodesic dome

[¦jē·ə¦des·ik ′dōm]
(architecture)
A dome constructed of many light, straight structural elements in tension, arranged in a framework of triangles to reduce stress and weight.

Geodesic dome

A curved lattice grid dome that utilizes the equilateral triangle as the basis of its surface grid geometry. R. Buckminster Fuller, the inventor and champion of the geodesic dome, obtained a patent in 1954 that described a method of dividing a spherical surface into equilateral triangles. The two regular polyhedra that can be inscribed in a sphere are the dodecahedron (12 faces, each of which is a regular polygon; illus. a) and the more utilized icosahedron (20 faces, each of which is an equilateral triangle; illus. b).

The geodesic dome has been used for everything from great exhibition spaces and halls to outdoor tent supports and jungle gyms. By utilizing the icosahedron as the basic building block of the geodesic dome, larger domes are possible with additional triangular subdivisions. This subdivision is known as the frequency. The first frequency is to interconnect the projected midpoints of the struts of each equilateral triangle of the icosahedron as they will project on the spherical surface. The result is four almost equilateral triangles where there was one before. The resulting lattice has similar but not exactly equilateral triangles if the grid is to remain on the spherical surface. This subdivision process can continue. The resulting grids have both triangular and hexagonal grids as a by-product within the basic geodesic dome geometry, with pentagons around the apex of the basic underlying icosahedron framework (illus. c).

geodesic dome

A structure consisting of a multiplicity of similar, light, straight-line elements (usually in tension) which form a grid in the shape of a dome.