The University of Essex’s Geodesic Dome Roof

By Timothy A. Schuler
October 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

“If you’re going to make a building complicated, this is it.” That’s how Derek Foster, contracts manager at U.K. construction company Morgan Sindall, summarizes the Essex Business School, a three-story timber-framed building designed by the London office of BDP under the direction of former chairman Tony McGuirk. …The largest roundel, 60 feet in diameter, houses the main lecture theater and is topped by a geodesic timber roof. A lattice of angled glulam beams, each 8.7 inches wide and ranging in depth from 25.2 inches to 26.7 inches, connect in diamond formation via steel knife plates welded to custom hollow steel tubes. …At least seven types of wood appear in the school, including pine in the glulam structure and western red cedar and iroko for its exterior cladding, for a total of 45,000 cubic feet of timber. 

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