Have you ever heard of a Geodesic dome? I first heard of them whilst at university studying Architecture. If you havent experienced seeing one, then your missing out!
Beautiful in form, the bubble like dome is elegant and intricately clever in the way that it works.
The structure is complicated at first glance, but upon closer inspection its simplicity appears to show, many triangles of differing sizes create a complete, curvaceous structure, not one internal support required. A well known example of such construction would be the Eden Project in Cornwall, England.
After visiting Eden a few years back, I felt amazingly inspired by the buildings architectural shape and functionality of spaces both inside and out, sweeping you around the winding walkways of the surrounding areas, it quietly merges into the landscape with its organic form.
Eden was designed and erected by some of the worlds leading architects and building contractors. To even consider reating your own version would sound impossible for the average DIY enthusiast, even on a small scale, where would you start on such a task!
Well if you have ever dreamt of giving it a go, Crafted Landscapes have discovered a rather fantastic and fun product that makes geodesic dome building simple to do.
We personally purchased this product to try and test its quality.
The clever guys at Hubs have designed a ball and socket type connection system, specifically for creating garden domes. To put it simply, a ball on the end of a stick, snaps into a durable plastic hub. If you keep snapping, joining, and creating triangular shapes, done correctly, the result is a robust structural shell, a blank canvas ready to be dressed and personalised into what ever you wish.
What you make it into is your choice! A child's play den, camping pod, fruit cage, chicken coop, hot tub cover, or simply a elegant garden feature, perfect for a spot of shade to read or picnic underneath.
The Kit includes all the plastic hub joints, ball connections and relevant screws/washers required.
Please NOTE, you don't get any "sticks" with the Hubs kit. The sticks are the material between each hub joint, and the bit in which the ball connections are screwed into. But do not worry, there are lots of readily available options to use, for my build, I purchased a job-lot of 65 broom stick handles! alternative sticks include -
So, once my Hubs kit arrived I was very eager to un-box and get cracking with the build.
What you need to Build
Minimum of two people
Sticks ( I used 65no. broom sticks)
Hand saw or chop saw
Sunny weather !!
Stages of the Build
Un-box the kit and check all contents is included
Using your hand saw or chop saw, Cut all of your sticks to size, depending on the size you decide upon, there are two measurements required (long / short) I built a 3 metre diameter dome but I believe these kits can accommodate up to 5 metres without a problem. Place all the longs in one pile and all the shorts in another.
Now your sticks are cut, its the perfect opportunity to paint them with a wood preserver, I used a garden fencing paint, two coats was ideal. You do not have to do this, but it will improve the sticks durability. Like me, You could paint once the dome is built, however you may get paint on the hub joints and it can be easy to miss certain parts of the stick due to the odd angles.
Next, I recommend pre-drilling the ends of the sticks ready to receive the ball connections. Depending on the type of wood, this step could be skipped, some sticks can split when screws are inserted.
Screw the ball connections onto the sticks, one each end. This is time consuming and a bit relentless, it aches your arm a bit, but worth the effort ! Do not worry if they aren't perfectly central on the stick, a little inaccuracy wont harm the overall domes form, as i found out.
Once you have done the dreaded screwing, take a tea brake !
Feeling refreshed, you will be ready for the most satisfying part! joining the sticks to the sockets and forming your beautiful dome! the Hubs instructions are simple to read and clearly show the stages, so I wont repeat this on here. Please see below slide show pictures of my step by step progress as per instructions.
There you go! completed ! The build is very easy, best of all its great fun for all ages, and very satisfying to make. The actual erection of the geodesic dome only took us around 45-60 mins (preparation and painting excluded). I also tried taking out some of the ball connections during the build, this is relatively easy, so i would imagine disassembling the dome wouldn't be much of a task either.
Overall this product is brilliant, I couldn't be happier with the result, we are going to use ours as a fruit cage within our garden allotment, but as you can see they are useful for a whole range of purposes. Please see below a few other Domes built using the same kit.
Thank you for reading my Geodesic dome blog! I hope you have found it useful. If this read has inspired you to find out more, and perhaps purchase your own Kit, come and visit my website www.craftedlandscapes.co.uk
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