In the Rectilinear City, domes had become ancient history.
A history which would one day become legendary. A few years in the past, domes had been banned from the Rectilinear City by the Council of Buildings, but a few remaining domes went into hiding. The few remaining domes were hiding in the park central of the Rectilinear City. The Council of Buildings heard that some domes still existed in the city, and therefore began searching for them. They searched the entire Rectilinear City, but the domes had camouflaged themselves very well. The domes blended into the landscape and were overgrown with ivy. The Council of Buildings continued searching, then one day an anonymous note was left in their offices. The note described the whereabouts of the last three domes in the Rectilinear City. As the Council of Buildings and their guards entered the park central, the three domes tried to escape from their pursuers. The guards of the Council caught the three domes on the edge of the park, and brought them into custody.
The Council of Buildings held a trial for the three domes a few day after their incarceration. The domes did not speak or defend themselves at all during the trial. After a very short time the Council of Buildings rendered their verdict for the three domes. The three domes were convicted on the charge of bad style and sentenced to life terms in prison. In other words, the three domes’ crimes of architecture were for being obsolete. The newspaper of the city reported the news that three domes had been found guilty along with the names of the criminals. The three domes were named, Fly-Eye the queen, Tri the kid and Bucky the leader. Air transport took the three domes to a prison ship known as the Floating Fortress.
The Floating Fortress was a ship so large it appeared like a motorized island in the great sea adjacent to the Rectilinear City; from the deck of the Floating Fortress the city could barely be seen on the horizon. As the Floating Fortress moved out to sea, the three domes felt they would never again see the Rectilinear City during their lifetimes. The Floating Fortress was actually a decommissioned tanker repurposed for the confinement of the banned domes. After leaving the Rectilinear City, the Floating Fortress joined a convoy of ships that held all of the banned domes types within their hulls. Because the three domes, Fly-Eye, Tri and Bucky were so large; they would remain on the deck of the Floating Fortress as a unique punishment to be inflicted by Mother Nature.
As decades passed and the three domes were weather beaten, Bucky the leader came up with a scheme to escape the Floating Fortress. A great storm was approaching the prison ships and rough seas were predicted. Bucky, Fly-Eye, and Tri’s restraints were old and they needed to use all their strength to break free of their shackles. Bucky’s idea was that after breaking the restraints to toss themselves into the sea, but invert themselves in order to float. A moment of darkness during the storm came and the three domes broke out of their restraints. All three tossed themselves overboard into the sea and were swept away by the waves. The idea of inverting them had worked and they were floating together as the storm passed. The three domes floated for years on the great sea without spotting any sign of ground to land upon. Hundreds of years passed, but one day, Fly-Eye spotted something with her extraordinary vision. She saw land and not just any land. She had spotted land upon which their former city still stood after all these years.
As the three domes floated closer to the Rectilinear City, they were greeted by a series of ships asking if they needed assistance to get onto dry land. The ships only asked one question of the three domes in return for their help. “What type of architecture are you; we have never seen any form such as yours in the Rectilinear City?” Their response was simple, “We are domes.” After the three dome’s response, the ships again asked another simple question, “What is the purpose of a dome?” Tri responded, “Domes are capable of great spans, and can be built with light or heavy materials without the use of columns.” The ships were impressed and towed the three domes to the shores of the Rectilinear City. The three domes then righted themselves for the first time in hundreds of years, supporting themselves as they were meant to stand.
Soon after reestablishing their rightful gravity based positions, they were greeted by a former great foe. The Council of Buildings approached and asked a similar question as the ships, which had rescued them. “What type of architecture are you?” the Council asked. The three domes were confused this time and answered the question with one of their own. “Do you not remember us, we lived in this rectilinear city hundreds of years ago?” The Council of Buildings answered simply by saying, “We have no idea who or what you are.” The three domes decided to tell them their entire story from years ago. Their explanation then told how all domes had been banned from the Rectilinear City. With this being said, the three domes were the last of their kind in the Rectilinear City before being discovered hiding in the park central. The three domes were then sentenced to life terms on the Floating Fortress. The three domes added that their crimes of architecture were that they were considered obsolete, even though domes were capable of greater span than any other roof types. The Council of Buildings was both appalled and intrigued by the story the three domes had told. They said they wouldconvene to consider the reinstatement of the three domes into the Rectilinear City. The three domes waited for days on the shore of the great sea, as the Council of Buildings debated their case. Finally, the Council of Buildings returned to the three domes not with decision, but with a proposition. The Council of Buildings told the three domes of a building hundreds of years old within the Rectilinear City which was so large that any roof type constructed upon it had collapsed. They suggested that if the three domes could teach the engineers of the Rectilinear City how to span the building’s roof they would be acquitted of all their former crimes of architecture. Bucky responded quickly by saying that they would accept the proposition and act as structural advisors for the Rectilinear City. The three domes convened with the engineers of the Rectilinear City and taught them the secret to constructing domes. The secret the three domes taught the engineers was that a dome is built on the principle of an arch. The elements or members of a dome, such as stones, are kept in place by the mutual pressures brought into play by their own weight. Therefore, building multiple arches rotated about a singular point would construct a dome. The engineers of the rectilinear city understood
this principle and began construction of the dome to span the building hundreds of years old.
After the completion of the dome, the Council of Buildings met again with the three domes. They said the three domes had met their conditions of the proposition and therefore would be reinstated to the Rectilinear City. The Council of Building added, that no architectures would be banned from the Rectilinear City in the future. The Rectilinear City would become a place for all architectures to live and grow in peace, after centuries of excluding domes. The three domes then moved back into the Rectilinear City searching for a place to reestablish their lives. After a great deal of searching, Fly-Eye once again used her extraordinary vision to suggest returning to the park central of the Rectilinear City. The park central could act as a gathering place to educate the buildings
of the Rectilinear City on the capability of domes as a viable and timeless form. The three domes agreed to move back to the park central and build a new life. As the years passed, all formerly banned domes reappeared throughout the Rectilinear City. Domes were temples, domes were housing, domes were stadiums, and domes were normal. The crimes of architecture against domes were a thing of the past. Domes over the years became models of architecture that could not be denied their greatness. In the Rectilinear City, domes represented super efficient structures that could do more with less material than any other building type. The span of any dome, in any time period, expresses its timeless structural capabilities, now and in the architectures of the future. After seeing the dramatic positive changes to the Rectilinear City, the Council of Buildings renamed it Geodesic City.
Location: New York, NY. US
T. Joseph Surjan - design scientist & writer
S. Hjelte Fumanelli - project architect & digital modeling