Chapter III – Balancing Form & Function – The Important First Step Of Turning a 3 Frequency Icosahedron Into a Geodesic Dome Home

Photo Credit – Michael Millette & Zip Tie Domes

Truncating a 3 Frequency Icosahedron

To truncate is to cut something off.

Form and function are two starting points of knowing where to cut a portion of the icosahedron off with the intent to make a home.

Form includes your personal vision and what you require for the space. Functionality is how you plan to use the space and how the internal environment and external conditions relate to each other.

Do you want your dome to be one open space or have a second floor?

Do you want a low, medium or high profile dome?

Knowing this will help you know how to fraction the icosahedron in parts to then remove a portion of it, to create a base.

8ths or 9ths?

However, in the dome world it seems that domes are fractioned into halves, eights or ninths.

It’s not a perfect system, but when dividing the icosahedron into parts – some say 8ths, other 9ths. More confusing is that it is only 8ths when it is 5/8ths or 5/9ths. No-one says 3/9ths, they only say 3/8ths.

Some dome people say it is technically accurate to say 5/9ths.

It is not an exact science.

Below are examples of truncated icosahedrons:

Photo Credits – Geodesic Dome Plans

Form and Function

As we started designing our dome home, there were very specific aspects we wanted included in it such as a central, large standing stone fireplace, a loft overlooking the open space below with a contemporary, wooden spiral staircase leading up to it.

Therefore, we would want a 5/8ths – a higher profile – to accommodate us. But, you can make a two level dome in a 1/2 or 3/8ths by making a larger diameter dome – it has nothing to do with the frequency. Remember, frequency makes a dome rounder – it doesn’t effect the size. Size has to do with the radius or diameter. But, you don’t want the struts to be too long so that they can’t do their job. When it comes to that point, then you would increase your frequency. Or, you use materials strong enough to maintain the structure.

All sorts of structures can be built as domes: from grand homes, to chicken coops and interesting greenhouses!

Photo credits: & &

The possibilities are endless! We’re even planning to build a dome stable for horses with a Reiki studio loft above it! This dome will have a horizontally inclined elliptical configuration.

Exciting stuff, ‘eh!

S, 📐

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. mama says:

    The example of the complete Geodesic Dome House is beautiful and anyone can understand why this appeals to you both so much.So many possibilities to meet both your requirements.👍
    The added fixture ( since we have downsized to a condo) is 😳the clothes line which I miss so much.Very exiting, looking forward to seeing your place started…It will be grand! 👍🤗🥰💜

    1. Thanks, mama!!!! 🥰

  2. projectzachor says:

    This is such an interesting structure. I’m looking forward to following your journey. It sounds like it’s going to be very beautiful!

    1. Hey!! Thanks Carol Ann!!! 🥰

  3. Wow what a great structure..we saw these around the Cabot Trail .

    1. We just discovered these domes in Cape Breton – True North Destinations – I think it is called. We’re hoping to take a few days this summer to drive and check them out!!!

      1. I will look through my photos and post them on my blog.

      2. Looking forward to seeing your photos!

      3. I posted this on my site today.

      4. Wonderful!!!! Thank you!!!!

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