Domes are fun structures to inhabit, even if they can be difficult to waterproof. Treading the line between outside and inside, permanent and temporary, Danish architect Kristoffer Tejlgaard (who built this reclaimed wood dome previously) has now created what he calls Dome of Visions.
Located in Aarhus, Denmark and seen over at Designboom, the 78-foot diameter, 35-foot-tall structure is the third in a series of experimental designs intended to explore how living in greenhouse-like environments affects human well-being. Tejlgaard explains that this is a "passive and solar heated space as a building envelope that generates a third climate" and can be ultimately beneficial:
A space that is neither inside nor outside and therefore provides a better space for a meeting between man and nature.
Tejlgaard also points out that though this structure is temporary, the materials were carefully chosen as it is designed to be reassembled again. The dome's temporary nature also raises the question of what permanence really is, in the context of a profiteering building industry that often chooses cheap, flimsy materials:
All construction is temporary; it is only a matter of perspective. The fact that Dome of Visions is ‘more’ temporary than many other buildings provides a stronger invitation to think about the circuits the materials are a part of and to contemplate how the building is constructed in order to be disassembled again as well as the ways in which the constituent elements can enter the world in new ways. However, the thoughts are equally relevant and required in all other construction.
Wood was chosen as it is a sustainable material that can renew itself. Six large curved glulam members form the dome's circular foundation, which in turn sits on a screw foundation. Cross-lamintated timber is used for the building inside the dome, which is used for activities and events.
The shape of the dome's supporting framework has been optimized so that it can be clad in rhombus shapes with polycarbonate panels, rather than with hexagons or triangles, in order to reduce waste and overlapping joints. In general, the process of design and construction of the dome leaned toward efficient material and energy use as much as possible.
The spaces inside do feel uplifting and green, thanks to the large army of plants flourishing here.
This is a beautiful dome-sheltered community centre, but dome applications such as this and others make us wonder if in an increasingly volatile climate, domes may be used to help provide that safe, sheltered quasi-outdoor space for tomorrow's buildings, for the future well-being of humanity. In either case, like many other emerging ideas we're seeing, domes represent doing things in a different and hopefully more sustainable way. For more, visit Atelier Kristoffer Tejlgaard.