Domes are often portrayed as the building of the future when they are actually one of humanity’s oldest structures. There are dome dwellings constructed as far back as 19,280 BC. The concrete dome Pantheon in Rome (126 AD) is the oldest, ancient structure with an intact roof and is still in use today. The Renaissance produced many famous domes, but the real renaissance in dome construction was in the 20th century.
Modern pioneers developed barrel-shells, hyperbolic paraboloids, folded plates, membrane theory, geodesic domes, concrete thin-shells, polyurethane foam, pneumatic structures, and — finally — the Monolithic Dome.
The Monolithic Dome is a super insulated, steel reinforced concrete thin-shell structure invented in 1976 by three brothers — David, Barry, and Randy South. There are Monolithic Domes all over the world used for houses, schools, gyms, bulk storages, tornado safe rooms, churches, and many more uses. Monolithic Domes are strong, energy-efficient, green, and beautiful. Sizes vary from 10-feet (3 m) to 340-feet (100 m) diameter with designs and engineering for larger structures.
The mission of the Monolithic Dome Institute is to teach and train individuals and organizations about the benefits and construction of the Monolithic Dome. However, our higher goal is to champion all curved architecture. We believe it’s time to stop building boxes. Architects, contractors, governments, engineers, and owners should expect more from the buildings where they live and work.
We will include news, projects, and topics not only about the Monolithic Dome but on all concrete domes — including the concrete-only Monolithic Ecoshell — plus thin-shells, geodesic domes, and other curved structures that inspire and push the state-of-the-art.