Chapter 2 - Early Panel Spheres

Between 1973 and 1974 I started working with developing a spherical form. The one right was the first of these forms. Technically it is a partial rhombicuboctahedron, (we will call it a rhombicube for short). It was made of 1/2" fir plywood with mostly 4 ft square panels, resulting in a width of 9'-6". Prophetically, the geometry is the same as the larger modules in the new designs today. The main difference is that now the modules can link to each other and to other related modules including the cube.

 

The road to this melding of different forms was a long one. Initially, it continued to involve spending a significant amount of time working further with the sphere as a discreet object, The UCLA dome of 1974 (left) is the fourth of the series.

 
 


Constructing the UCLA Dome

These 1974 photos are of the above spheroid.The photo to the left shows the two parts, a right and left side of one of the base triangles of an icosahedron. Fifteen of these pairs made the 3/4 dome of the photo.

 
 

Additionally, there were ten circular hoops
sandwiching acrylic window panels and filling five of the round openings at the triangle vertices. With the windows in place, the structure became quite stiff even though the plywood was only 1/8" thick. This last determined its weather ability, as the surfaces delaminated in four years.

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Copyright 2001 Gregg Fleishman