Local firm envisions geodesic dome over Browns Stadium

1:30 AM, Oct 16, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- On the eve of Jimmy Haslam being named the new owner of the Cleveland Browns, the debate over putting a roof on the stadium is prompting new ideas.

Cleveland architectural and engineering firm Ralph Tyler Companies is proposing a free-standing, glazed geodesic dome.

Connected triangles would form a self-supporting dome stretching over the entire stadium and sit several stories above the ground. 

At a cost of $150 million to $200 million, it's said to be cheaper than adding a retractable roof.

"They're a series of components that create geometries, using relatively lightweight material to act as an umbrella," said Director of Architecture Geoffrey Varga. "In our minds, this is the most efficient, most green way of doing this."

Geodesic dome designs have been around since the 1950s. In fact, about a 40-minute drive from the stadium, in Russell Township, sits the world's largest open-air geodesic dome at the world headquarters of the American Society of Metals. 

Varga's design would break records as the world's largest covered geodesic dome with a diameter of 1,100 square feet. It would buffer, but not block Cleveland's harshest weather.

"It does not provide air conditioning, it does not provide heating, but it would certainly temper the temperatures experienced at the stadium," said Varga.

The company has not yet contacted Haslam with its proposal, but plans to do so in the near future.


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