Danish architects Kristoffer Tejlgaard and Benny Jepsen have set out to create a site-specific piece of architecture that reinvestigates the future of housing and boy, did they succeed! Their deconstructed dome, a meeting place and the exhibition tent for the Danish National Association for Social Housing, is an exploded version of a dome that can be shaped according to its surroundings. Engaging surfaces and niches created by splitting the original form seem to reveal the true beauty of the dome’s anatomy.
The project was commissioned by BL, Denmark Public Housing, for this year’s People Meeting held on the island of Bornholm, Denmark, a manifestation dedicated to generating debate on the future of housing. The Meeting Dome had a dual role within this context – besides providing an attractive physical space for the debate, the project itself is a comment on it. The introvert geometry of the conventional dome is restructured to respond more constructively to the architectural conditions of the contemporary city. The structure becomes more flexible and responsive to its surroundings, as its extruded segments assume different positions within a specific location.
The logic of the extrusions consists in consistent treatment of different elements: the curved surfaces are closed, while the perpendicular ones are left transparent. This enables greater control over the amount of light that penetrates the interior and ultimately, the organization of the space. For the Peoples Meeting, the dome contained a stage placed in a niche and the stands situated in the central area. According to the architects, this “created additional focus on the stage and a great sense of intimacy”.
The project is a complex lattice structure that can be assembled to fit different parameters. The printed nodes from the 3D model are laser cut and robot welded. The nodes are designed as steel shoes that are open in one dimension and two inches in the other, so they can accommodate the family of standard rafters. The Meeting Dome used 2×4 inches and 2×6 inches construction timber and same size plywood-beams. The building envelope consisted of translucent greenhouse membranes on the spherical surfaces and transparent PVC film as windows on the perpendicular surfaces.