Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Vitra Dome

In 2000, the Buckminster Fuller patented, Thomas C. Howard designed dome was transferred to the campus of Vitra Design in Weil am Rhein, Germany. A lightweight structure with a membrane cover, this Charter-Sphere dome was previously erected in Detroit in 1954.


  1. The Vitra Dome is a Charter-Sphere Dome. It is NOT geodesic. Buckminster Fuller patented the geometry for geodesic domes (all greater circle geometry). TC Howard of Synergetics, Inc, architect and engineer developed and designed the Charter-Sphere Dome after years of designing the first geodesic domes for Bucky. Vitra thought they bought a geodesic dome designed by Bucky (none ever existed, because Bucky was not an architect)so they named it The Buckminster Fuller Dome. What they actually bought was a Charter-Sphere Dome that had been used at a Detroit car dealership. They refuse to change the name even though Buckminster Fuller had absolutely nothing to do with the design of their dome. Charter-Sphere Domes have been used around the world, but few are left. They were designed to be temporary structures, thus the tent. Manufactured and distributed by Charter Industries, Inc of Raleigh, NC. -TC's daughter

  2. Thanks for the clarification, Katrina.