A Dome Primer

Time and time again, we’ve seen people confuse the Monolithic Dome, invented by David B. South and his brothers, with the geodesic dome popularized by Buckminster Fuller. eHow.com, which posts informative articles on more than 1 million different topics, recently shed light on the difference between the two structures in an article headlined “What Are Different Types of Domes?”

As the writer explains, geodesic domes are structured on triangles and other geometric shapes instead of arches. In contrast, the Monolithic Dome is made of one solid piece of concrete with no seams or openings, with the exception of windows and doors.

The article also talks about Bow Domes, an archaic type of structure used for primitive housing.

However, one of the earliest examples of dome engineering is the Roman Pantheon, built almost 2,000 years ago. Not surprisingly, it is a Monolithic Dome. We always say that a Monolithic Dome has a lifespan of about 500 years. But as the longevity of the Pantheon illustrates, a Monolithic Dome’s lifespan might be better measured in millenniums.