world shelters: U dome
world shelters: U dome world shelters: U dome
may 22, 2008

world shelters: U dome

world shelters: U dome
image © designboom
the U-dome adapts the modular geometry of buckminster fuller’s geodesic dome. U-domes have been used for disaster response, portable medical clinics, relief agency centers, temporary housing, storage, and workshops. the patterns can easily incorporate local materials, and they are re-usable. world shelters is a non-profit california based manufacturer serving as a private volunteer organization. since 1986 they focus on providing low-cost, durable shelters to those in need.

image © designboom
the benefits are: lightweight shipping, simple assembly, low cost, withstand extreme heat and cold, significant wind, and light snow loads with proper installation, hard walls for durability. the design features are: weatherproof corrugated polypropylene, flame retardant, UV resistant, weather tight, shingled construction, panels form internal support struts.

image © designboom
pinned to the ground
external flaps shingle all seams
image © designboom

image © designboom
door frame fits a standard pre-hung door
image © designboom
plastic sheeting is used on the floor and sealed to the walls
image © designboom

image © designboom
triangular window of acrylic (plexiglas) sheet, installs in a shingled opening for no leaking
image © designboom

image © designboom
aluminum hooded vent blocks wind and rain
image © designboom
image © designboom
precision die-cut sheets
image © designboom
sheets fixed together
image © designboom


in 2004 the US postal service released a commemorative buckminster fuller stamp, 2004 was chosen as the year to release the stamp as it marks the 50th anniversary of fuller’s patent for the geodesic dome. this project was part of the exhibition ‘casa per tutti’ (housing for all): milan triennale, 23 may – 14 september 08
  • Fantastic! Thanks.

    Dick Fischbeck says:
  • Molto interessante.

    Biagio Di Carlo says:
  • It was in 1954 that Bucky was at the Milan Triennale with his 42 foot paperboard Geodesic Dome. Isn’t it wonderful the the U-Dome initiates a new and important cycle. My father would be thrilled. Can we get it to where it is really needed?

    Allegra Fuller Snyder says:
  • Steven, Congratulations! It looks great!

    Carl Elias says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
502,311 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample