Detail: Buckminster Fuller building construction plans for the first Geodesic Dome Patent, 1951
Source: The Buckminster Fuller Reader, 1970
Meredith Carruthers, Study for Buckminster, 2008
On December 12, 1951, Buckminster Fuller filed building construction plans for his Geodesic Dome Patent. The drawings showed plan and elevations for a rational and fantastically beautiful new construction method that resembled spun sugar, a paper snowflake or festive doily. Buckminster's experiment did not linger long in the realm of paper-architecture but popped up at the south pole, above the arctic circle and at world fairs in Kabul, Poznan, Casablanca, Delhi, Rangoon, Bangkok and Tokyo (Paper-board domes made for the Tenth Triennial Design Exhibit at Milan won the gran primo). The "skybreak bubble" that Buckminster Fuller designed for Montreal's expo67, was "pure fallout" of his love for his wife Anne. In a monumental valentine in the year of their fiftieth anniversary, Fuller dedicated the structure to her and named it "Anne's Taj Mahal".
Anne's Taj Mahal, the Expo '67 Dome- 1976 fire
Meredith Carruthers, Study for Buckminster Fire, 2008
On May 20, 1976, a welding operation caused a fire that consumed the entire acrylic shell of "Anne's Taj Mahal" in just half an hour. The structure itself remained intact, to remain more or less abandoned for fifteen years. In 1992 a process of restoration began to re-purpose the sphere as a museum and environmental observation centre dedicated to water, the St. Lawrence and Great Lakes ecosystem, and sustainable development. (www.http://biosphere.ec.gc.ca/)