Translation Dome


This structure looks very much like the Square Dome shown previously except the shape is generated by an entirely different method. A translation shell is generated by a vertical curve sliding along another vertical curve. The curves can be circles, elipses, or parabolas. Therefore the vertical sections are all identical as opposed to a circular dome in which all vertical sections vary in height. This is a big advantage in construction of the formwork. This method can provide a recangular dome with the same height of arch on all sides, thus making a rectangular dome feasible.

Most of the load is carried by the side arches with some coming directly to the corners. The sketch shows a tie at the springing of the arches, but usually this will be covered by the walls or window mullions. Such shells are suitable for quite long spans with some interior lighting furnished by skylights in the shell.

Barrel shells, folded plates, and shell arches are all special cases of translation shells.