This geodesic dome structure was designed by architect Munemoto Sinsaku to serve as a community centre for residents of the Temporary Shelter 2 at Omoe on the outskirts of Miyako City, Japan. Odense translates as Welcome which is fitting as this is essentially a community centre built by volunteers with donated funds. Munemoto Sinsaku was still at university at the time of the Great Hanshin earthquake back in 1995 but was able to help out and contribute this design for the Odense centre during the Tōhoku earthquake of 2011.
Odense is a truncated icosahedron, geodesic domed structure, a type of building that can be very strong for the types of materials used due to the geometry of the hexagons and pentagons which resemble a classic football. They can also be cheap and due to their modular composition that can be easily reproduced using a set pattern. Geodesic domes were popular amongst ‘hippie communes’ of the 60s in America’s south-west for the same reasons and for their modern, almost futuristic style.
The Odense community centre was built by 31 students of Professor Munemoto at Ritsumeikan University along with a local carpenter who managed to get the Odense structure up in just 30 days. The building was very low cost as Munemoto managed to source all the materials such as plywood and timber from local stockists and received contributions from many local business that covered all of these costs.
The pentagonal windows in this truncated icosahedron geodesic structure are actually made simply of strong, lightweight plastic sheeting which is a fraction of the cost of glass (particularly for non-standard shapes such as pentagons) and was far easier for the volunteers of the project to install.
Share this Post