Thermodome Café

Structure development

Concept renderings proposed

Intermediate renderings once the decision to proceed was made.

Have a peak at the 3D model of the Thermodome Café. If it doesn’t work straight away you might look at DWFX Instructions

3D models are great for visualization and design. On the ground the assembly crew needs more stripped down and hands on 2D printed plans. Connection node maps are vital. Proportions and even symmetry are of relatively low importance at the assembly stage. The assembly crew simply needs to know what gets connected to what. Here is an overview node map of the central dome…

…and a look at the entire structures node map…

Thermodome Café  was a rapidly designed, fabricated, and assembled structure  in May 2012. This was a project that was scheduled to happen in 2013 but with the possibility the Crash assembly pad being unworkable at the scheduled time this project was brought to the top of the Que. The 4,500 ft^2 structure is the most rapidly developed structure to date here at RoseCCS. In roughly 1 week the structure went from concept to realization with the last pieces of the superstructure going into place.

After settling into place and the grass coming up a bit here is the view entering the field shortly after assembly.

The view from the front of the structure.

Inside the 60’D dome looking back at the ‘little’ 25’D 5V 5/8 ‘entry way’ dome. The distinct color variation between the 2 domes shows off the connecting archway detail quite nicely.

Cover design for a structure such as Thermodome Café is a fairly straight forward  but detailed process. A tremendous amount of attention to detail and careful planning lead to smooth and efficient fabrication and a tidy, well fitting, cover membrane. 3D models were translated into 2D layouts for membrane patterning and layout. Here’s a peek at some of the gore patterns…

…and a small part of the pattern layout for cutting from the roll…

Membrane fabrication took place early in August of 2012. With membrane design complete, 16,000 ft^2 of material, and an automated industrial thermal welder on hand cover fabrication made for a long but productive week.

Cut Out Pattern Pieces


In the above photo: Some of the smaller pieces in the cover design are cut off the material roll on the left. On the right larger, full length, gores are cut and stacked in preparation for cover assembly. Below are some photos from the cover assembly process…

Long Welds

Preparing the Top of the Weld

Adjusting the weld overlap at the top of the cover requires careful and quick repositioning of the cover material.

Adding More Gores

Larges covers, such as on the Thermodome Café, quickly become bulky. Super thin and strong materials selection and a few extra hands make very large cover sections manageable.

Cover installation took place late in August 2012. All the dome sections were first lined with their own individual parachute to add visual interest to the interior of the Thermodome Café.

While the liners were being installed the finishing crew  grommeted and laced the tie down and expansion joints on the covers and connecting pieces. Here’s what those parts look like when they are finished and tightened up…

Expansion Joint


Here are some photos of the covered structure…

In the above photo the dome in the fore ground is the same size as the smallest “entry” dome on the front of the Thermodome Café.

The Back

The Front

Once the cover was fully installed and the sun set planning for the lighting effects began. Here is a sneak peek of one of the many easily obtained effects…

Red Light Test

Check back soon for more footage including finished project photos.