- Zeiss Planetarium
- First first
- Germany (Jena)
The first ever geodesic dome was the Zeiss Planetarium constructed by Dr. Walther Bauersfeld (1879-1959), the chief engineer at the Carl Zeiss optics corporation, in 1926. It was fabricated by Dykerhoff and Wydmann on top of the Zeiss factory in Jena, Germany. It measured approximately 8.5 m tall, and was designed as an icosahedron (20-sided polyhedron), with each face sub-divided into a series of triangle- and lozenge-shaped shapes. Nearly 3,500 thin iron rods form the shell, which was then sprayed with a thin layer of concrete. The Zeiss Planetarium opened to the public on 18 July 1926, and was later awarded US Edward Longstreth Medal in 1938 for the dome’s innovative construction.
A geodesic dome is a shell structure made from tessellated geometric shapes. It was given its name by the American architect and inventor Richard Buckminster Fuller, who did much to develop and popularise the use of geodesic structures.