• (a) Ball

    (a) Ball
    los angeles CALIFORNIA


    critic: elena MANFERDINI

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    donovan BALLANTYNE: By amplifying the tessellation and porosity of the geodesic dome I am giving the geodesic dome a face-lift.

    This thesis looks to misconstrue the face of the geodesic dome by amplifying its unintentional, yet inherent esthetic, and monumental qualities. I am proposing to bring depth and discontinuity to a typology that has been about continuity and surface. A face with no ears, no eyes, and no nose is not a face. Similarly, a building with no face is not architecture.

    The dome has been the most celebrated forms in architecture since its genesis, while the geodesic dome has been adored by scientists and structural engineers. Buckminster Fuller’s interests were only in structural efficiency, not in monumentality or surface effects which were the driving forces of historic domes such as the Pantheon.

    This is a 1,700 seat rock star arena sits weightlessly in Los Angeles’s Pershing Square, and acts both as an urban speaker screaming sound outward through its ears, and as a sound chamber that brings in the noises from the city inward.

    sP: what or who influenced this project?
    dB: Elena Manferdini, Fuller, Tarsem Singh, Daniel Libeskind’s Jewish Museum.

    sP: what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    dB: The Fall, The Cell, A Clockwork Orange, Proust and Signs.

    sP: whose work is currently on your radar?
    dB: Anish Kapoor, SOFTlab, theverymany, Jason Payne.


    aaron BETSKY — The geodesic dome was always an emblem an engineered utopia that came to life as a pleasure dome. Resurrecting that tradition, this rock concert enclosure warps the perfection the shape implies into something grittier, messier, and more alive. It combines dirt and high tech in a way that presents a good model for civic gathering.

    mark GAGE — Marilyn Manson meets Bucky Fuller. The ultimate mash up. There’s something more than sinister about the fusinon between the mid-century-high-tech and oozing biological that is rather captivating. Makes me want to see what they can do with an Eames chair. I appreciate the restraint in the form that allows the color and micro-texture of the little suckers to do all the work.

    tom WISCOMBE — The idea of reanimating the dead-end discourse of the geodesic dome through contemporary figurality and facial character is really brilliant. It creeps up on you. The simultaneously organic and synthetic qualities of the surface components are very rich and beg for fabrication studies.

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  • WP_Modern_Notepad
    • TheJoyLuckClub Says:

      EW. Typical SCI-ARC project, absolutley disregarding any functional aspects of a design. Where is the structure and why on earth would a concert hall want to be open to the atmopshere. Also, that volume would create unacceptable reverbaeration times, making any performance sound horrible.

    • LizardLover Says:

      Uh, wasn’t this designed 200 years ago @Boullee and then 50 years ago @Fuller

    • Cheng Gong Says:

      to: TheJoyLuckClub
      Even though all the points that you mentioned could be reasonable under the specific context, with another perspective, i think the spectator may probably be open enough to allow the school(or sci-arc) to bring a different possibility to the buidings in terms of massing/structure/facade/function.
      I personally think people should embracing different results when evaluating contemporary architecture/education, when you realize it’s unbuildable, maybe you ignore technique/aesthetics/etc. wise it may be interesting.

      PS. i guess that’s a section model.

    • EdibleAutopsy Says:

      Typical high-end favela nonsense. Guessing the number of votes here indicates the tastes of the suckerpunch community — good to know!

      Regarding build-ability: seems like a non-issue in some ways. But hex tiled maya aesthetics. Really? Seems just like more of the same…

    • Amo Says:

      Those who have commented that this project “seems just like more of the same” need to look closer. What’s interesting about the project has nothing to do with hexagons or its sphere-like volume, but rather how it is altering the typology of the music hall through the thickness of its envelope. Super clever is the re-thinking of this conceptual poche where aperture, circulation, insulation, views, and seating all work together within a sponge-like wall package capable of eliminating traditional relationships between interior/exterior typical of most performance venues.

      This is fascinating both conceptually and formally. I would love to see a section of this envelope built full scale. Boullee’s still on paper, but this doesn’t have to be.

    • JaRULE Says:

      Ha you would think that at the end of your 2 and a half years at Sci-Arc you would come up with something a little better than this “face lift” of a dome.

    • ChrisWidlowski Says:

      Hey! Don’t be mad at my boi Donovan. He told us to come here and vote for him or else he wouldn’t be our friend anymore. <3

    • Hernan-Diaz Alonso Says:

      Can you make the honey stickier?

    • EdibleAutospy Says:

      hahah “Super clever is the re-thinking of this conceptual poche” – wow, did that come up during the SCI-ARC group masturbation session?

      Well, its nice to see how much desire is read into this sort of work… Does express that we desperately want something new, always, regardless of what it is…

      To me it feels like someone just f**king around in Maya. I don’t see any acoustic analysis or any other evidence to suggest that this would work at all. But then I guess it is ‘super-radical’ to suggest filtering street noise into the hall while a concert is going on. Really? C’mon, such a one-liner…

    • confused Says:

      EdibleAutospy? More like DebbieDowner…

    • Justin Says:

      Hey, don’t talk about my friends project like this guys.

    • Joey Says:

      Where did you find all the gum to make this model?

    • HorseBoner Says:

      If this was the culmination of 6.5 years of my education, I would be exprememly dissatisfied.

    • DebbieDowner Says:

      so sorry to upset your friend. Lets all be happy. High fives all around – great job – super radical work, absolutely incredibly unique. Buckminster who?

    • White people in Zimbabwe Says:

      The only thing typical on this page is the negative nobodies who spend their time bashing projects on sucker punch because they are miserable and have nothing better to do with their own lives. If you do not enjoy looking at work that comes from the west coast’s number one graduate for architecture (SCI-Arc) then stop visiting Suckerpunch Daily!

      This project is obviously influenced by Boullee and Buckminster Fuller, but to say it has already been done two hundred years ago? Come on! This is something completely different. This is the most amazing tectonic model I have ever seen.

      This thesis is not a scientific analysis dedicated to acoustics. It is about depth, and surface treatment, and for the record, I believe it is about projecting out towards the city. Hence, the sphere.

      JaRULE, EdibleAutopsy, LizardLover, TheJoyLuckClub, Chris Widlowski : Go do something productive with your lives, like jumping off a bridge. There are enough distasteful, self-loathing architects in the world you are all so typical.

    • Bucky Says:

      so basically, you decorated my geodesic dome with bulging anuses? i know an interior design firm who’s hiring. bravo.

    • san Says:

      before u talk crap about others , take a look at yourself. what have you acomplished

    • Donovan Ballantyne Says:

      Thanks for everyone who has been voting.

    • Elena Manferdini Says:

      This project is a disgrace.

    • Linda Swon Says:

      I love your creativity. I am tired of the negative criticism of SciArc. push your visions to the limits while in school, there will be plenty of time to design real buildings.

    • EdibleAutopsy Says:

      hahah wow – this is hilarious. defend the anus-dome!

    • Deana L Toler Wert Says:

      Very impressive!

    • Christine chang Says:

      Awesome to see creative people bringing innovative idea to life.
      It’s inspiring others to go out there and execute a project themselves.
      Great work don!!! You’re on your way to becoming something great!!!!

    • laura Says:

      This project seems to encompass the overall ability to foresee a conceptual idea into a physical manifestation of a vision the designer has for the city of LA. The site taking place in Pershing Square, an idea of an “urban speaker box” makes an interesting commentary on where our current social media may accumulate towards, perhaps out of the controlled electrical box and directly into the public arena?
      Technical acoustics; this project may have some problems but conceptually speaking, the ear formed tessellations blur the boundaries between private/public space within the realms of a historically charged bourgeois scene. Despite the conceptual aspects of this project, the sectional model is quite intriguing. The craftsmanship is refreshing in our seemingly digital fabrication era. How many can say they have seen such a creature erected from a simple idea of a geodesic dome? Is that really gum? Nice job and good work! May the force be with you.

    • mar Says:

      how amazing would a FULL SCALE prototype of this model look? It’s a land of tomorrow exhibition, why are people being so negative? As if we don’t endure enough of it in the real world.

    • Robert Says:

      I would like to see this built, whether it resembles any part of the human anatomy, it only enhances the connection to anyone viewing it. Every person has their own way of viewing this work of architecture, but it is clear that there are endless possibilities that may or may not work for its function in the end. I appreciate the confidence of this work, especially being presented to such a tough crowd. I hope the criticism does not hinder its production but is constructive to its life as an extension of our time and our life.

    • Hemang Says:


      Try again.

    • candy Says:

      Try again with some constructive criticism instead of one line dead ends. If we are in the industry of better ourselves, then stop with the non-constructive opinions and give some feed back on how to make this project better.

    • kz Says:

      nice continuation of Fuller but explain the follow thru

    • Matt Says:

      This looks like someone strange you would see while snorkeling, like a piece of coral, an ugly sea sponge, or a mutated anemone. This thing is better suited for an octupus’ garden than a city.

    • Marty Says:

      This is a great project! Good Job!!!

    • Eric Says:

      Nice project. Hope it wins.