Monday, May 17, 2010

“A Necessary Ruin: The Story of Buckminster Fuller and the Union Tank Car Dome”

A Necessary Ruin - Trailer from Evan Mather on Vimeo.

Upon its completion in October 1958, the Union Tank Car Dome, located north of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was the largest clear-span structure in the world. Based on the engineering principles of the visionary design scientist and philosopher Buckminster Fuller, this geodesic dome was, at 384 feet in diameter, the first large scale example of this building type. A Necessary Ruin relates the powerful, compelling narrative of the dome’s history via interviews with architects, engineers, preservationists, media, and artists; animated sequences demonstrating the operation of the facility; and hundreds of rare photographs and video segments taken during the dome’s construction, decline, and demolition. (Evan Mather, U.S.A., 2009, 29:54)


Megan Lubaszka said...

Oh my goodness! Wow thanks for posting about this. I had no idea anyone had made a film about the dome. (sadly, it was playing in my town about a month ago, and I missed it)

I got to see it in the dark one night, a year before the demolition. The doors were chained and padlocked.

rcs said...

Very cool. I wonder where it would rank on this list of existing large clear-span structures (the Superdome comes in at #11 but a number of the larger structures are air-supported.)

Francine Stock said...

I would seriously love to have this film screened in New Orleans.

I am soooo sorry I never got to see the Baton Rouge Union Tank Car Dome. But there is a sister dome near St. Louis. I may have to make a pilgrimage next time I visit the family.