Update: Building a Stackwood Geodesic Dome for MOTHER EARTH NEWS

In 1979, stackwood construction expert Jack Henstridge had his students at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Ecological Research Center have a go at building a geodesic dome from stackwood as an experiment.


| March/April 1980



062 stackwood dome

Building a geodesic dome went shockingly quickly when so many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers volunteered their labor.


PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

"A cordwood-geodesic-dome-solar-greenhouse? That's what we're building?!!"

A lot of people attended MOTHER EARTH NEWS' Summer of 1979 seminars held at our ever improving Ecological Research Center . . . and a good number of those visitors were bighearted enough to chip in on a very unusual building project, a project that just sort of happened to happen!

It all started when Jack Henstridge—the self-educated stackwood construction expert who was teaching his low cost building technique as part of MOTHER EARTH NEWS' Earth-Sheltered Homes seminar—decided to offer our students a chance to "get their hands dirty." So Jack found an open spot and along with his pupils began splitting log rounds . . . mixing sand, lime, water, and cement . . . and building one of the billet-and-mortar structures known as a stackwood wall.

Before long, a whole lot of seminar folks got stricken with the legendary "Tom Sawyer fence painting" syndrome and pitched right in on the project. All of a sudden, Jack Henstridge found himself in the midst of an on-the-spot stackwall construction movement. A lot of go-get-'em volunteer workers were sawing and splitting and stacking and slapping cement and sweating up a storm and having a fine ol' barn-raising-type good time building the gracefully curved structure . . . the only question was, what in blue blazes were all these good-natured people actually constructing?

Well, the half-dome of cordwood has been finished since then, and MOTHER EARTH NEWS researcher Emerson Smyers has come up with his own innovative way of constructing a translucent geodesic half dome to match it. Emerson has also figured out how to attach the glass-triangled structure to the already completed, south-facing stackwood-and-cement creation. . . and the result will be a geodesic-dome fronted, wood-wall-backed solar greenhouse!

As this article is being written, our EcoVillage staffers are putting the finishing touches on the "two-tone" dome. And in the next issue of this magazine we hope to be able to show you one of the most down-home stylish (and unique) hothouses ever constructed!





mother earth news fair

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!

LEARN MORE