The geodesic dome, Fly’s Eye Dome Prototype within the Miami Design District in Wynwood and at the Pérez Museum of Arts.
When you visit Miami, many places seem to attract public attention. Some of them, because of the substantial chauvinist, especially within the times of Miami’s “Cocaine Cowboys”. Other places emphasize the Latin American culture and the strong Cuban, Puerto Rican but also Haitian influence. By looking closer, the predominant cultural impact was given through Cuban
But being in Miami today, you will see a shift towards modernism embedded within the remaining myths and past existence. Miami is shifting rapidly, more than steadily, towards a 21st century mega city. Modern Mega-cities showcase not just culture and architecture but also and perhaps mostly an exclusive way of consumerism. Like it is in Los Angeles, more specifically Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive, Miami showcases the just recently opened Wynwood’s Miami Design District. With the New Yorker developer and preservationist Tony Goldman, Midtown became what it is today, a vitalizing the Miami Design District, making it a popular arts destination for visitors from across the globe.
It could be called “High End Shopping Mile” with retailers like Bvlgari, Versage and Gucci and many others well known exquisite companies. Tony Goldman, a New York developer, stimulator, and historic preservationist was the initiator and “men in charge” to creating and vitalizing the Miami Design District. By making it a popular arts destination for visitors from across the globe he genuinely combined extraordinary Art with an extraordinary shopping experience. Within the heart of the Design District lies one of three of Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller’s “Fly’s Eye” domes. The newest dome, centrally located in the Design District’s Palm Court amidst a reflecting pool, is a precise recreation of Fuller’s 1980s original. One of the great additions to the dome are the two openings that lead to a spiral staircase constructed of white marble that guides visitors to the underground parking structure. Gazing up through the lenses gives patrons an unconventional and awe-inspiring view of the world. The 24 foot structure resembles the same geometric composition as the Carbon 60 molecule, which was discovered two years after Fuller’s death and has received the honorary name of “Fullerene”. The piece itself has been enhanced with a few newer materials to aid in reinforcing the structure and guarding it from wind and rain. The second dome is featured as a skylight atop a luxury shopping center and the third piece is featured at the Pérez Art Museum Miami and is a 35-year old prototype.
The artistic meaning behind these “Fly’s Eye” domes is that each represents a different view of Miami. One may say these views also apply to the world as a whole. On one hand you have the luxury malls, sparkling city lights, contemporary architecture and wealthy investors. The opposite is an environment that is still fragile and vulnerable to hurricanes and floods, poor and unsafe multicultural housing communities, and a desire for safety and an easier life.
The beauty to me behind these works of art is that Fuller had a practical purpose in mind for the domes. They were designed to help relieve some of the world’s housing crises. Fuller had a lifelong vision of creating housing that was self-sustaining and could be cheaply produced and transported across the nations via helicopter. The shell itself was constructed to hold large loads and the circular, dome-shaped windows were intended to house natural ways to obtain and sustain energy, such as solar panels. Only four prototypes were ever produced and unfortunately Fuller never saw his dream come to fruition (1895 – 1983).
By taking the photos at twilight in January 2015, I wanted to show the dome within mid-town Miami’s new exclusive environment. The design clearly breaks between the linear and rectangular well-designed shopping structures.
The dome could also be seen as something more within the new affluent neighborhood, perhaps back to the well known saying “Less is sometimes more” which stand clearly in contrast to the offerings surrounding it.
For more photos go to my Gallery: Fly's Eye Dome - Midtown Miami
Miami currently boasts four of Buckminster Fuller's constructions:
· The original 1980 Fly's Eye dome at Perez Art Museum Miami PAMM, on view through Dec. 12.
· The 2014 Fly's Eye Dome that will be a permanent fixture in the Design District, at 140 NE 39th Street
· The 1960 Golden Dome at Miami Seaquarium
· The 1967 Banyan Bowl geodesic dome at Pinecrest Gardens.
by Carina Sanders and Christian Klugmann