was first patented by a New York engineer and philosopher named Buckminster Fuller. It is able to enclose more volume without internal supports than any other structural design invented. It is also the lightest and strongest structure by volume and, due to the repetition of identical parts together with a decreased surface area, is one of the most cost-effective structural devices ever conceived. Probably the most famous geodesic sphere is the "Spaceship Earth" at Disney's Epcot Center. Prior to this, Fuller won praise and recognition in the architectural community including an AIA design award for his US Pavilion at the '67 Expo in Montreal.

Of particular interest to me around the time I began seeking a solution to the World Trade Center memorial was a project Nicholas Grimshaw and Partners had recently completed, working with a long and notable list of other architectural and engineering firms, in Cornwall, England. The Eden Project is a series of interlocked geodesic domes over the top of a meteorite crater that make for a huge tropical greenhouse in the unlikely location of the rural English countryside. Cesar Pelli's Winter Garden at the World Financial Center, just to the west of the World Trade Center site, already had me thinking about the possibility an indoor garden might play in some conceivable memorial design.

When I happened upon an obelisk that was "uniquely New York" I was immediately intrigued with how elegantly a geodesic dome greenhouse would play in to the design.

copyright © 2002-2003 Chris Grayson