Bucky Fuller's grain silo houses found in New Jersey

© Sebastiaan Kaal/ Buckminster Fuller Institute

In 1940, before the Wichita House or the geodesic dome, Bucky Fuller was fascinated by the technology used to build grain silos. In the New York Times, Alastair Gordon describes what happened:

Europe was at war, and the newspapers were filled with stories about Blitz-ravaged London. Fuller began to envision how the utilitarian structures might be converted into emergency housing. His idea was to transform Butler’s galvanized steel containers (“Safe from fire, rats, weather and waste,” their slogan promised) so they could be shipped anywhere in the world and assembled quickly as bombproof shelters.

The units were quite nice, and even made it into the catalogs of the day:

As advertised, the unit cost $1,250 and came complete with lightweight furnishings and appliances from Montgomery Ward, including a kerosene-powered icebox and stove. Inside, the industrial rawness was softened with drapes over the portholes and a fireproof curtain weighted with tire chains designed to divide the interior into four pie-shaped rooms. Air circulated through an adjustable ventilator in the roof, and the floors were made from Masonite one-eighth of an inch thick.

dduDDU/Public Domain

Unfortunately steel was in demand for weapons, not houses, so they were never produced in volume. A dozen of them survive at Camp Evans in New Jersey, a remarkable story of architectural preservation. Read it in the New York Times and consider a visit to Camp Evans.

Via Gizmodo, we learn about Sebastiaan Kaas' Roundhouse project, with extensive research on the Dymaxion Deployment Unit.

michael jantzen solar vacation house photo

We have also covered Michael Jantzen's wonderful Solar Vacation House, also built from agricultural components.

Bucky Fuller's grain silo houses found in New Jersey
A dozen units survive, according to Alastair Gordon in the New York Times

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