The igloo could be earliest form of the monolithic dome. It is an efficient structure - with the spherical section you get to enclose the home with the minimum amount of material. The natural strength of the arc carries the roof.
And it makes use of a material that is easily found.
The Mellon Arena is an indoor arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is also informally known as ‘The Igloo’. This arena has a special dome where 6 stainless steel arc panels retract to form an outdoor venue.
Another example is Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church also known as the ‘Igloo Church’ in Inuvik, Canada. The church is built on permafrost and in order to avoid the layer of ice from melting, a double layer shell is placed on top of a gravel-filled saucer-like structure that is set into the ground.
Contributed by Kim Casey