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Drawing, The Ten-Deck House

This is a Drawing. It was architect: R. Buckminster Fuller. It is dated 1928 and we acquired it in 1991. Its medium is graphite on white wove paper . It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Frustrated after he left the Navy, Fuller dedicated himself to the betterment of mankind through the elaboration of social projects, involving housing developments to cater for humanity’s growing need in homes. This “Ten-Deck House” drawing is an original sketch exemplifying one of Fuller’s earlier ideas for a mass-produced, light-weight housing project. It represents ten geometrically shaped floors incorporated into an aluminum structure, supported by a central mast and cables. Fuller intended for the entire structure to be air-lifted by zeppelin and placed in situ by exploding a crater, which the mast would fit into. The ten decks would comprise four floors of living space, with a separate floor for servants, a nursery, library, pool, gym and finally a sky promenade. The multi-functional nature of such a building would also liberate space on the ground for cars and other vehicles. Unfortunately for Fuller this project was never realized.

It is credited Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program Fund.

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  • mimeograph print, brush and blue watercolor on white paper.
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Its dimensions are

27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2 in.)

Cite this object as

Drawing, The Ten-Deck House; Architect: R. Buckminster Fuller (American, 1895–1983); USA; graphite on white wove paper ; 27.9 x 21.6 cm (11 x 8 1/2 in.) ; Museum purchase from Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program Fund; 1991-53-2

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Making Design.

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Drawing, The Ten-Deck House |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=25 March 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>