Co.Design

The Rise and Fall of Buckminster Fuller's Masterpiece

Evan Mathers's 2009 documentary A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome is available online.

Oh, boy, do we have something for the design nerds: Evan Mathers's 2009 documentary on the rise and the fall of the Union Tank Car Dome, a massive geodesic structure by archi-god Buckminster Fuller, is available in full online. We've got it here:

A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome traces the phenomenal construction of the dome — which had the largest free span in the world, when it went up in 1958 — to its decline and eventual demolition. For all its technological wizardry, the Union Tank Car Dome was a pain to keep up, so the owners, Kansas City Southern Railway, razed it in 2007.

Similiar stories have played out in modern architecture all over the world, and in this sense the film is equal parts eulogy and cautionary tale; it both lionizes Fuller's engineering genius and questions its practicality. Bonus: It's got interviews with a guy whose official title is "dome enthusiast."

[Via Kitsune Noir]

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