The US Department of Commerce used a geodesic dome as a pavilion at the International Trade Fair in Kabul in 1956.

The 100ft diameter, nylon-skinned dome was designed, calculated, drawn up, manufactured, packaged and shipped in a DC4 to Kabul within 5 weeks of the contract being signed.

One of Fuller's engineers directed untrained Afghan workers who, using a colour-coding system, built the dome in 48 hours.

It was 35ft high at the centre, and had an uninterrupted floor area of about 8000sq.ft. 480 three-inch diameter aluminium tubes made up the frame, weighing 9200lb altogether. The nylon skin weighed 1300lb.

Besides being the hit of the fair, the dome apparently pleased the Afghans, who saw it as a modern version of the Mongolian yurt, a traditional dome-shaped tent.



Paul Taylor 2001