Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Spot the difference...

The first three pictures are of the Montreal Biosphère in Canada; the latter two are of The Eden Project in Cornwall, south-west England. Both are geodesic domes. The first was designed by the great Buckminster Fuller while the latter was inspired by him.
Walking around the Biosphere while in Montreal this summer was a true highlight of this year, with the dome's Utopian feel balanced by the alarming exhibitions on global warming and rises in sea temperatures. It's fascinating to think of the contrast between Fuller exploring the geodesics structural synthesis with nature and Le Corbusier's concrete urbanism, both of which were occurring at roughly the same time-span. In John Brunner's dystopian novel Stand on Zanzibar, Manhattan is imagined - like in Yevgeny Zamyatin's We - as surrounded by an enormous geodesic dome. In hundreds of years time, when global warming accelerates and the seas rise, such domes may be the only method of survival for the world's cities.

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