For the last week part of my floor has been taken up by a small village of potential shade structure designs made from superglue and bamboo kebab sticks. What have I learned in this time? The easiest way to enclose a large area with as few members as possible is a 1V geodesic dome. When you're working out of your parents garage during holiday visits and all you have is a radial saw and a drill it's hard to beat the simplicity, strength and economy of the 1v dome.
There are a few design types you won't see here:
- Hexayurts - This is meant to be a shade structure for social use during the day, not a cave to be crawled into for sleep only. However I suspect I may be absolutely fucking miserable this year in my tent and make a hexayurt for sleeping in next year. I'm spending enough money on the dome for this year.
- Braced frames - Designating members to provide either vertical or lateral support is wasteful and boring, plus walking around cross-members is annoying.
- Quonset or monkey huts - Yeah those look like fucking trash and are totally devoid of any style whatsoever. Go ahead and leave me angry comments quonset people. Not to mention there's just something unnatural about bending PVC in a high UV environment and still relying on it for sole structural support.
This torqued cube is perhaps one of the few designs that used fewer members than the 1v dome. It's only downsides are a low width to height ratio (meaning if you want to shade a large floor area with uniform length members it gets very tall very fast) and a roof shape that does not shed water.
It's a split/deconstructed 1v dome! I really like the ying-yang shaped arrangement of the two dome halves to each other and the large welcoming openings created on each side. Refer to the high-tech finger test pictured above for it's prime weakness. Yes folks, the amazing finger test is something taught to architecture majors at Cal Poly SLO, tho in regards to structural engineering knowledge I don't think some of my peers managed to retain even that.
The design on the right and it's variant on the left were inspire by Zaha Hadid's Serpentine Pavilion pictured here:
I replaced the mushroom shapes with three inherently stable tetrahedrons. Unfortunately a sizable structure yielded a small amount of usable floor area compared to other designs. The unique thing about this design is all three tetrahedrons could be joined to themselves and the ground with simple pin connections. However in the event of wind, extremely high uplift would occur at the foundation points which exceeds my comfort level in playa foundation design and construction. Possibly even less efficient in terms of usable floor area yield is the variant (left) utilizing three different sizes of tetrahedron. The three sizes create a sense of whimsy, motion and complimentary balance in the variant whereas the primary design is rigid and stoic. In a purely decorative move the smallest tetrahedron is mirrored atop itself creating a tower of sort from which a lantern could be hung -- easily the most elegant and bold design.
So yeah, it looks like I'm going to be just another one of those people with a 1v dome. Don't ask me how mine is going to be different, I've still got 49 weeks to figure that out.
And besides, who ever said 1V domes can't be romantic?