A word on Domed Architecture

Architecture since the beginning of time has been subject to continuous change. Principles too, have changed over time to keep pace with new building systems, materials, and ideas.

There are 2 principles I want to talk about here: one mentioned frequently by Frank Lloyd Wright, first by Lao Tze, that the inside of a building is one with the outside. Another is the debate of form and function.

The deconstuctivists have pushed form in a way never done before, never possible before. There is an artistic nature to their work in its present form. A modern, or just a plain spoken construction worker, would tell you that there is no point to this, that a building is meant to be lived in, that its goal is function and form follows it.

That arguement can, and will, rage on, and I have no interest in taking a stance, as stance is not possible without being opinionated. I am more interested in figuring out truth, finding what is right, and what the coming century will bring.

That, I believe, lies in domed architecture, and the theory behind its design.

What I am about to state here may seem to be obvious, and more than likely has been stated by others in one way or another, but still, I feel needs to be stated and laid out.

For all of history, man has needed to seperate himself from his surroundings for a variety of reasons. We build with the abstract line, versus our surroundings in which such a thing does not exist. The outside had to be seperated from the inside, though the highest forms of architecture tried to make them the same.

In the state of perfection of existing architecture, the environment was a primary consideration as it was not controlled, so a structure was needed to seperate and create a controlled space (or at least, as controlled as that time and place allowed).

The dome changes all of this, as it eliminates a uncontrolled environment inside of it, and because you can create large domes with large amounts of open space inside of them, the inside becomes one whole, with no inside or outside, which changes the entire state of what could be considered ideal in the design of structures.

Recent architects ( Frank Gehry) have changed the way space is used, but there was no functionality in the design. Inside of the dome, what would be abstract designs in a normal environment changes to completely functional. Form again would follow function, but the possibilites of form, most of which would be abstract in previous conditions, become limitless in a whole space.

Essentially, the architecture of the world will follow function, though artists will pursue abstract means. What this is saying is that fundementally, form will change in a controlled environment

If you are an architecture fan, than you have seen this hypoethetical rendering of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller’s dome. This dome would change the nature of everything built inside of it. A building was always made not only to be a place where people could be inside, it was to get away from the elements. Inside of this construct, that is not longer the case. The inside of it is now one whole.

As one whole, everything then built inside of a domed construct now does not have to follow the laws of function. There is now no inside or out. The argument against deconstructivism falls, and the possibilities become apparent.

What are your thoughts?