Geodesic domes around the world
From Finland to the Falklands
Whenever a customer contacts me about an old Solardome® glasshouse and I check through the old ledgers, I’m always fascinated by how far our glass geodesic domes have travelled around the globe. In recent years, we’ve built domes in France, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Norway and Austria, but the ledgers tell of an even more exotic history.
The first entry I can find is for a SOLARDOME® 2 Basic, which was sent to Finland in April 1971. Later in 1971 Basic stainless steel models were shipped to Zambia and the USA. Between then and 1977 when the SOLARDOME® Deluxe range was introduced, the Basic was shipped not just to various European countries, but further afield to Iran, Saudi Arabia, Dubai and New Zealand.
The introduction of the delux aluminium geodesic models increased sales and exports. In the US, we sent domes from the West Coast all the way across to the East: Seattle, California, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, New York and New Jersey.
In Canada there are domes both old and new. A SOLARDOME® 2 Basic delivered in 1977 and more recently in 2012 a SOLARDOME® Capella (6m diameter) sent to the McGill University in Montreal.
Across the Pacific, there were orders from Tokyo, Osaka, South Korea and New Zealand. There were at least four domes in Australia, with two of those in Tasmania. I was contacted last year by a gentleman in Sydney who had inherited a Solardome® glasshouse in the grounds of the house he had just bought. He was astounded when I told him how old it was as it was still in good working order. He wasn’t a gardener so kindly donated it to a local school who rebuilt it with a bit of help from our archive of assembly instructions.
But of all our geodesic domes around the world, my favourite entries in the ledger are those for the Falkland Islands. We’ve been able to spot four glasshouses that were shipped out there including one to the very intriguing address of the ‘Pink Shop’ in Stanley in 1988. In 1984, after the Falklands War, we shipped a SOLARDOME® 2 Basic to Major General de la Billiere who had been involved in the War and was then appointed Military Commissioner.
Today, we continue to design and manufacture our Solardome® geodesic domes to customers around the world, adding to the Solardome story and ever-growing list of interesting locations where they can be found.
Please do let me know if you’ve seen a Solardome® glasshouse in an exotic location – we’d love to hear about it and maybe we will even be able to identify it from those dusty old ledgers.