thin-shell architecture based on multiConic geometry

Weather Tight - Permanent - Cost Effective - Super Strong and Flexible - No Internal Verticle Supports or Rafters - Quick Assembly - Unlimited Variations
Detailed Plans & Custom Designs available ~ email:      Phone: (707) 884-1769
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Guest House

The Refuge. Here shown in 250 sq. ft. configuration. Made entirely of 1/2" Plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board) material. This very simple structure is our candidate for the ultimate minimalist shelter. We have three of them up here at the Kissing Rocks (our home) and they're used as instant storage. I don't think it's possible to create permanent structure with this overall strength and longevity with less materials and less labor. We also have a 128 sq. ft. variety. Check out the video of the structure being erected at our youTube site:

Flexibility Demonstration
YouTube Video

Conic Shells are highly flexible in that they can move and deflect loads much like a trampoline. This 2 minute video shows the radical deformation that Conic Shells can withstand.

Click here to listen the KGUA radio interview with inventor Chuck Henderson by Peggy Berryhill. Recorded on 3/13/2012 this 20 minute interview gives an overview of Conic Shells and their 38 year history.

KGUA logo

The refugeConic - 250 sq. ft. minimal structure made entirely of 1/2 plywood. No rafters or internal supports. Plans available - Click Here.

1050 Square Foot freestanding workshop assembled in 8 days with 3 man crew.. Composed entirely of 4x4 foot plywood panels.


Unlimited square footage and non-supporting window walls are possible with Conics.
Outbuildings for farm equipment and shop space are very economical with Conic Shelters. Pictured above is the Oz Farm Conic Shell built in 2009. Inventor Chuck Henderson is standing in front of the two main tractors parked in the Conic in winter lockdown. In spring the Conic serves as the main food processing and packaging facility.

conic village 01
A 31 unit conic village proposed as a solution to refugee and homeless issues. Conics inward sloping roof and wall designs complement the natural inverted cone shape of trees creating an environment that complements natural landscapes as well as the needs of the indigent.

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Preliminary structural analysis shows the unique characteristics of the Conic Shell form. The above 80' x 40' multiConic was computer modeled and analyzed using state-of-the-art finite element software.

Although the structure weighed 80 tons it was shown to support 13,000 tons before collapsing (a 1/165 weight to strength ratio!).

"Our goal is to create minimal structures with maximum structural integrity in all loading configurations - hurricane, earthquake, snow, even tornado" - Chuck Henderson Inventor.

Welcome to Conic Shells

Conic Shells ("Conics" for short) are a thin-shell architectural form built from thin materials like plywood or reinforced ferro-cement type concrete. Conics are a minimal, extremely cost effective, and highly versatile architectural form that relies on geometric curved configurations and material flexibility for superior strength. Assembled very quickly, Conics can be used as a residence, open-air shelter, shop, or office space. Multiple exterior, insulation and interior finish options are available.

For more contact, or call us at 707 884 1769.


Conics can be scaled to any size and can be designed in an infinite variety of configurations to create amazing architectural expressions. Vertical walls can be dropped from the Conic roof forms to create completely enclosed spaces. Conics can be easily integrated with solar and other green technologies to create complete structures for any use.

Conics can be constructed in large frame configurations like the geodesic multiConic shown above or as small cozy cottage forms like the 500 sq. ft. home shown below.
As Built. This 500 sq. ft. residence is built with no rafters or stud walls. The curve shape of the Conic provides all the structure. This Conic is built on grade with a surrounding french drain system. There is no step up or down to enter the structure - a great feature for older folks!

Two Visica Conics joined together. This basalt-reinforced cement structure provides a 1000 sq. ft. interior space suitable for residence or studio. The thin shell curvature and super-strong reinforced structure can support a sod roof for xerobic landscaping or gardening.

Conics can be fitted with opening acrylic skylights like the one picture above. Viewed from inside the skylight looks like a Jules Verne science fiction novel. All parts and fittings are stainless steel.
wind analysisThe computer wind analysis above shows a 100 mph wind flowing up and over a Conic Shell. The result is a net downward pressure on all points along the surface during high wind events. We suspect this is why mountains migrate to the multiConic geometry... it's because this geometry has outlasted millions of years of high winds.

Ridge Conic
Ridge Conic (Above Anchor Bay... California) Slide Show. This was the first Conic Shelter built using a "fabrication-during-assembly" technique. Panels were attached together while the entire structure was being hoisted by a crane (gin-pole technique). This allowed workers to assemble the panels at, or near, ground level, speeding assembly and making the workplace safer. Click here to View.
What are Conic Shelters? And how can they be used to provide permanent, low-cost shelter for homes, offices, outbuildings, meeting spaces, and other uses?? Click Here to find out more.
How To Get Involved With Conic Shelters. Are you ready to experiment with this new form of shelter? There are many ways to participate in the exploration of the "multi-conic" structural geometry. Click Here to find out more.
Advanced Discussion 01. The multi-conic skin should theoritically be able to support itself without the need for internal tripod structures that extend all the way from the ground to the apex. Computer models reveal what a modified tripod ("generator") structure would look like. Click here for more. (Added 9/21/07). Click Here to find out more.
How Does Nature Use Conics? The oldest geometric forms on the surface of the earth are ancient mountain ranges. Examining the geometry of these ancient forms shaped by wind, rain, snow, sun, heat and cold reveals forms that in many cases duplicate the multi-conic geometry.
Is there a connection between the geometry and reported effects of the Great Cheops Pyramid of Egypt and multi-Conic geometry? The angular geometry is very similar. Click Here to find out more.

all material presented here are copyright © 1997- 2012 by C.E. Henderson
- all rights reserved

Conics and Conics Shelter System are trademarks of C.E. Henderson

U.S. Patents 3,990,208 and 4,794,742