The Daring

A division of the Center
for the Study of Diagonality
in World Culture

Daring Diagonal Virtual Museum
Dymaxion House
R. Buckminster Fuller
Executed by:

In 1920, Buckminster Fuller proposed an unorthodox hexagonal dwelling called Dymaxion House. It was a six-sided, single family dwelling designed as a machine for living. The house featured a triangular cellular module. His infatuation with triangles carries over into the graphic composition of his text. The Dymaxion House was never built.

The house was based on his Ten Deck Building designed with hexagon-shaped floor decks suspended by tension cables. The floors themselves are constructed of a three-way triangulated grid of tubes suspended from a central mast-like tower composed of aluminum tubes, all held in place by ground-anchored cables. This building concept might be the conceptual forerunner of Kahn and Tyng's City Hall Tower studies. Smaller single family versions of the Ten Deck Building consisting of 5 or 6 rooms became the best known expression of this theme, particularly after it was named the Dymaxion House in 1929. The name is a contraction of Fuller's oft-repeated words "dynamism", "maximum", and "ions.'..

The idea of cross fertilization between Louis Kahn and Buckminster Fuller is supported by the fact the two architects were very close beginning in 1930 and forever after. Kahn’s wife Esther told Joel Levinson in 1990 that she, Bucky, and Lou shared many meals together when Bucky was living in Philadelphia. At the time Fuller was almost penniless. He lived with Philadelphia architect Ezekiel Levinson. Zeke is no relation to Joel Levinson except that Zeke’s architectural partner Matt Ehrlich passed on a commission for a house in Margate New Jersey, which helped Joel Levinson’s launch his career.


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