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Example of dome in auroville


A dome can be thought of as an arch which has been rotated around its vertical axis. As such, domes have a great deal of structural strength. A small dome can be constructed of ordinary masonry, held together by friction and compressive forces.


  • bricks

Details and experiences

-Application of Domes:

  • Plain masonry built with blocks or bricks
  • Floors for multi-storey buildings, they can be leveled flat Roofs, they can be left like that and they will be waterproofed *Earthquakes zones, they can be used with a reinforced ringbeam
  • They are Built Free Spanning: It means that they are built without form ; this way is also called the Nubian technique

-Timber Saving:

  • Domes are built with bricks and blocks (rarely with stones)

-Variety of Plans and Shapes:

  • Domes can be built on round, square, rectangular rooms, etc. They allow a wider variety of shapes than vaults.

-Stability Study:

  • The shape of a dome is crucial for stability, and a stability study is often needed.

Be careful, a wrong shape will collapse Need of Skilled Masons: Building a dome requires trained masons. Never improvise when building domes, ask advice from skilled people Be careful, a badly built dome may collapse Need of Good Quality Materials: Domes built with compressed earth blocks should be made of blocks of very regular thickness

Dome.jpg Dome In - AV 15.jpg Example dome


  • Circular domes

Circular domes are defined by the rotation of a compass. The length of the compass is taken at the outer diameter of the dome, so that the direction of the block can be adjusted by the angle of the compass. The control of the shape is ensured from the inner diameter and thus a cursor or any kind of mark made on the compass is needed. Dome a.jpg Dome b.jpg Dome c.jpg

  • Square domes

Square domes are generated by the intersection of two vaults, which create the groined or cloister domes. The procedure described as follows is for cloister domes which are built with squinches. A template is required and it is generally made of a pipe which is bent according to the need. String lines are pulled at regular intervals, from diagonal to diagonal of the template.

Dome d.jpg Pipe template and string lines

Dome e.jpg Hearing bones of the joints, when the squinches meet at the centre

Dome f.jpg Dome g.jpg
Cross alternately the blocks for the keystones

Example of dome n vault
Example of dome n vault

Composite Roofing with Brick Dome and Brick Vault


The roofing structure here is a composite work of vaults and domes. The Domes are used for the main enclosures. The beam on which it rests cantilevers the slab outward. This is done for rain water drainage for which a gutter is provided along the edge of the slab.


  • Brick
  • Concrete
  • China Mosaic

Details and experiences

Below is a wall section of the dome enclosure. Steel glass louvers from plinth level extend up to lintel level. Two reinforced concrete beams between which is a fixed glass opening.

Brk domenvault1.jpg Brk domenvault2.jpg

Where in Auroville??

Yantra , Auroville Earth Institute


Earth Institute domes

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