10 Amazing Domes Around The World That You Have To See

1. The National Grand Theater in Beijing, China

1. The National Grand Theater in Beijing, China

Now that Under The Dome is back, we think it's a good time to look at some of the most impressive real domes around the world. Each one of these is a world wonder worth a visit—and you probably won't get trapped under them, so don't hesitate to visit!

Also known as the Beijing National Center for the Performing Arts, this amazing glass and titanium opera house was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. Known as "The Egg," the building is surrounded by an artificial lake. The structure is submerged in water, and contains an opera house, a concert hall, and a theater. 

What's even cooler is what you can't see: Below the surface of the water are underwater corridors, an underwater garage, and views of the lake.


© Guo Jian She / Redlink / Redlink/Corbis
2. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Kakslauttanen, Finland

2. The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Kakslauttanen, Finland

Believe it or not, these glass domes are hotel rooms! Tucked away in the stunning Finnish wilderness, The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort offers a very unique experience. Putting up with freezing temperatures and going off the grid to get there is well worth it; the view from the "igloos" exposes you to one of the world's most beautiful natural sites. 

Each heated igloo features beds that can be converted to reclining, cinema-style loungers, which is perfect for viewing the Northern Lights dancing across the sky.


© Zhang Xuan/xh/Xinhua Press/Corbis
3. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

3. The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, Spain

Valencian Architect Santiago Calatrava is behind this unbelievable marvel of a city. Started in 1996, this site is made up of El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, L'Umbracle, El Museu de les Ciències Príncipe Felipe, L'Oceanogràfic, L'Àgora, and, most importantly, L'Hemisfèric. The buildings are known by their Valencian names, but they include an opera house and performing arts center, a walkway and garden, a large science and oceanographic museum, and an open-air aquarium. 

L'Hemisfèric is one of many domes at the
The City of Arts and Sciences, but arguably the most impressive. It features a huge cinema, planetarium, and laserium. The future is bright—and filled with lasers! 


© Rolf Hicker/All Canada Photos/Corbis
4. The Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

4. The Flower Dome at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore

This beauty is the world's tallest columnless greenhouse; its glass sits on a steel grid that acts like an eggshell. Like a giant, beautiful puzzle, there are 3,332 glass panels in a variety of sizes and shapes. Air is cooled at the lower zones through pipes, while the warm air is vented out the top.

The Flower Dome has an ever-changing display of flowers from all over the world, including ancient olive trees that are estimated to be more than 10,000 years old! 


© John Harper/Corbis
5. The Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang, Singapore

5. The Singapore Sports Hub in Kallang, Singapore

This state-of-the-art compound is everything a sports lover could dream of. The Singapore Sports Hub offers everyone in Singapore a place to watch, play, and support sports and entertainment. The Hub features a cluster of affordable facilities including a mall, restaurants, a library, a museum, and sports venues galore. 


© Then Chih Wey/Xinhua Press/Corbis
6. The Climatron in St. Louis, Missouri

6. The Climatron in St. Louis, Missouri

The Climatron, a geodesic dome greenhouse in the Missouri Botanical Garden, was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history for being the world's first completely air-conditioned greenhouse, and the first geodesic dome to be enclosed in plexiglass panels. The broad climatic range within the dome recreates a lowland rain forest, which is achieved by sophisticated climate controls without using interior partitions. 

Thanks to Synergetics, Inc. you can get a taste of the Amazon in the middle of the U.S.!


© Kelly-Mooney Photography/Corbis
7. Dome Homes

7. Dome Homes

The building pictured is a home you can actually buy! This house has been featured on multiple TV shows for its unique structure and design. There are a total of 10 domes sitting on more than three acres of property in the sunny Arizona desert. 

Recently, companies have been constructing Dome Homes—a very specific style of home that requires inflatable airform, steel-reinforced concrete, and a polyurethane foam insulation. The Monolithic Dome Homes meet FEMA standards for providing near-absolute protection from tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. The homes are cost-efficient, earth-friendly, and extremely durable. Oh, and they look super cool!


© Buddy Mays/Corbis
8. The Reichstag Dome in Berlin, Germany

8. The Reichstag Dome in Berlin, Germany

The Reichstag Dome is a large glass dome with a complete 360-degree view of the Berlin cityscape. The dome sits atop the debating chamber of the Bundestag—the German Parliament. A mirrored cone in the center directs sunlight into the building, so visitors can see the working of the chamber. The Reichstag Dome isn't just visually stunning; its structure illustrates that the people are above the government, as was not the case during National Socialism. 

Not only that, but the glass dome was also designed to be environmentally friendly, using the daylight shining through the mirrored cone to effectively decrease the carbon emissions of the building. 


© Paul Hardy/Corbis
9. The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago

9. The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago

The University of Chicago is one of the top rated universities in the country—and this dome only makes it smarter! The library serves many roles, including group and private study spaces. The Mansueto Library can hold the equivalent of 3,500,000 volumes with its state-of-the-art automated storage and retrieval system. Located underground, the volumes are arranged in metal bins and stacked in racks 50 feet high. When students and patrons request books, robotic cranes retrieve the bins and transport them to the main floor.

Designed by Helmut Jahn, the elliptical glass dome structure has received many awards since its completion. 


© Katina Houvouras/Corbis
10. The Living Dome at Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences

10. The Living Dome at Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences

There are many amazing features at Renzo Piano's California Academy of Sciences, but most notable is the living roof. At 197,000 sq. ft., the living roof, which emulates the mountainous terrain of the San Francisco area, is supported by three spherical elements. Beneath this crazy dome are the Academy's planetarium, rainforest, and aquarium exhibits. 

The living roof does more than just live—it cools the building, reduces noise by 40 decibels, and helps prevent runoff by absorbing almost all rainwater. Using the BioTray—a biodegradable, porous material that allows plant roots to grow through and take hold in the soil—the living roof fosters more than 40 native California plants like poppies, strawberries, and lupine. It's cool-looking, educational, and amazing for our environment!

These have all been incredible works of architecture, but don't forget the Dome on our favorite show — watch Under The Dome on CBS.

© Tim Griffith/Arcaid/Corbis