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5/31/2011 | 1 MINUTE READ

Goetz Composites restores famous Buckminster Fuller dome

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Boatbuilder Goetz Composites restores 24-ft Fly's Eye Dome, originally developed by Buckminster Fuller as a part of rethinking of human habitation structures.


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Racing boatbuilder Goetz Composites (Bristol, R.I., USA) on May 25 unveiled its historic restoration of one of Buckminster Fuller's most iconic structures, the 24-ft/7.3m Fly's Eye Dome.

Patented in 1965, Fuller created two prototypes of this structure, a 24-ft and 50-ft/15.2m dome. Fuller writes in his seminal book, Critical Path, that "the Fly's Eye domes are designed as part of a 'livingry' service. The basic hardware components will produce a beautiful, fully equipped air-deliverable house that weighs and costs about as much as a good automobile. Not only will it be highly efficient in its use of energy and materials, it also will be capable of harvesting incoming light and wind energies."

Goetz worked to restore the dome to its original condition. "Having the Bucky Dome at our shop has been fun and a broadening experience. It has been
amazing how many people to whom I have talked recently appreciate Bucky's work and are interested in this project," says Eric Goetz, chief technology officer. "Applying our expertise with composites in the world of architecture is exciting and the possibilities are enormous. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg of composites in the architectural space."

"This process has been totally amazing", said Elizabeth Thompson, executive director of The Buckminster Fuller Institute. "Eric and his team' working with Daniel J. Reiser and John Warren, who fabricated the original structure with Bucky, have gone to extraordinary lengths to engage this process with the same meticulous detail as a world-class fine art restorer. The 24-foot Fly's Eye dome is a convergence of Fuller's most advanced thinking with regard to synergetic geometry, advanced structural systems and the very contemporary notion of a dwelling machine."

The 24-ft Fly's Eye dome has been restored in preparation for installation during Art Basel I Miami Beach and Design Miami in December, and for inclusion in the contemporary art and design collection of Craig Robins, CEO and president of Dacra, Miami.