History & Philosophy

Buckminster-Fuller-autograph





The Jacksonville Dome Home was conceived and built in 1975. The design is based on a building system developed by designer Buckminster Fuller.

Buckminster Fuller was a renowned 20th century inventor and visionary born in Milton, Massachusetts on July 12, 1895. Dedicating his life to making the world work for all of humanity, Fuller operated as a practical philosopher who demonstrated his ideas as inventions that he called “artifacts.” Fuller did not limit himself to one field but worked as a ‘comprehensive anticipatory design scientist’ to solve global problems surrounding housing, shelter, transportation, education, energy, ecological destruction, and poverty. Throughout the course of his life Fuller held 28 patents, authored 28 books, received 47 honorary degrees. His most well know artifact, the geodesic dome, has been produced over 300,000 times worldwide.

Fuller taught at Black Mountain College during the summers of 1948 and 1949. There, with the support of a group of professors and students, he began reinventing a project that would make him famous: the geodesic dome. Although the geodesic dome had been created some 30 years earlier, Fuller was awarded United States patents. He is credited for popularizing this type of structure.

One of his early models was first constructed in 1945 at Bennington College in Vermont. In 1949, he erected his first geodesic dome building that could sustain its own weight with no practical limits. It was 4.3 meters (14 ft) in diameter and constructed of aluminum aircraft tubing and a vinyl-plastic skin. To prove his design, and to awe non-believers, Fuller suspended from the structure’s framework several students who had helped him build it. The U.S. government recognized the importance of his work, and employed his firm Geodesics, Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina to make small domes for the Marines. Within a few years there were thousands of these domes around the world.

From 1959 to 1970, Fuller taught at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIU).. Working as a designer, scientist, developer, and writer, he lectured for many years around the world.  Later in his SIU tenure, Fuller was also a visiting professor at SIU Edwardsville (SIUE), where he designed the dome for the campus Religious Center.

Fuller believed human societies would soon rely mainly on renewable sources of energy, such as solar- and wind-derived electricity. He hoped for an age of “omni-successful education and sustenance of all humanity.” Fuller referred to himself as “the property of universe” and during one radio interview he gave later in life, declared himself and his work “the property of all humanity”. For his lifetime of work, the American Humanist Association named him the 1969 Humanist of the Year.

The Jacksonville Cedar Dome Home is pleased to be part of this lasting legacy.

(Text from the Buckminster Fuller Institue and Wikipedia)

SAFETY

While dome homes may be odd-looking to some people, to a growing set of home buyers, they are now the only way to go.

According to Dennis Johnson of Natural Space Domes in Minnesota, the housing crisis and recent devastating tornadoes have increased awareness and interest in building, or buying dome homes.

“We’ve had domes go through hurricanes,” Johnson said. “The three domes by New Orleans, had no damage around them at all even though the trees were decimated. [A] fourth one had shingles torn off, but no structural damage to the dome.”

Missouri’s Romain Morgan is a believer. In 2004, Morgan’s Halfway, MO, dome home withstood a tornado that swept over her home and left nary a trace of destruction. “I had no damage,” Morgan reported. “Just one piece of trim on a side window was torn off. I had a Realtor ask me how much I would take for my house. I said ‘nothing.’ I won’t sell it. The feeling of security is incredible.”

Because dome homes are energy-efficient, easy to build and are able to better withstand hurricanes and tornadoes due to its round, aerodynamic shape, the dome home is becoming more popular — especially in areas that are prone to tornadoes and hurricanes.

The geodesic dome was first made popular by inventor Buckminster Fuller who wanted to revolutionize housing in the 1940s. Lightweight, cost-effective, easy to assemble, and built to withstand even the harshest of weather conditions, domes can be found across the U.S. and a number of companies sell dome kits.

“A bathroom would be a bathroom, and the kitchen would be a kitchen but the dome shell part of it is going to be less cost than a traditional box house,” Johnson said. “The safety factor is a big concern and I think this year a lot of people have been asking questions  in regards to tornadoes.”

(Text from Zillow.com)