Buckminster Fuller's Wichita House- Early Sustainable Design


Most people know about Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes, beloved of backwoods hippies everywhere. We didn't know that Fuller was such an environmentalist. Jay Baldwin, who worked with Fuller, presented at Prefab Now in Los Angeles yesterday. He described the Wichita house, which has a single pole as it's structural support. "Bucky thought that tearing up the land was a ridiculous thing to do". The aerodynamic shape was designed to reduce wind resistance- it was hurricane proof. Convection currents inside kept it cool. It used very little material-"nature works with minimal energy" and the entire house "weighed less than two volvos" While building an entire house out of aluminum looks less environmentally correct today, in the immediate postwar era there were empty aircraft factories and a lot of aluminum from airplanes to be recycled. You can see the only one that was built at the ::Ford Museum.