7 Essential Works by Buckminster Fuller

It would be incorrect to call Buckminster Fuller an architect. In fact, he was much more. But of course, the American inventor, theorist, and author did create stunning architectural structures—even if many of them weren’t ultimately destined for living. His claim to fame is, no doubt, the geodesic dome, a spherical structure Fuller patented with an omnitriangulated surface that gave it superstrength. The first was rendered in aluminum aircraft tubing with a plastic skin, but they became more impressive from there, climaxing in what might be his best-known dome: one created as the US Pavilion at the 1967 World Fair in Montreal and now a science museum called the Montreal Biosphère. Beyond the domes—which he imagined would be infinitely useful for their light weight and easy assembly—Fuller was also interested in the concept of prefab housing, devising but never producing the Dymaxion House, which was meant to arrive in a few pieces that could be easily assembled. Here, we’ve rounded up some of Fuller’s most recognizable architecture, all rather avant-garde for its time.