Wichita House - 1944-46

Richard Buckminster Fuller
Wichita - KA - USA

Following his earlier Dymaxion House (1927) and the Dymaxion Deployment Units (1940's), the Wichita House was architect-inventor Fuller's next step into the world of his prefabricated “dwelling machines”.
This house was meant to be mass-produced by the Beech Aircraft Factory in Wichita, Kansas. In the heart of booming post-war American economy, the factory hoped to break into the housing market with the plans to produce 60,000 units annually. Only two prototypes were produced before the company decided to terminate the project, convicted the public was not ready yet to inhabit such a machinelike object. Both prototypes were purchased by investor William Graham and combined into a hybridized version for his family. In 1991 the family donated the house with all original spare components to the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, which currently exhibits the totally restored initial version.
According to Fuller's principles, the whole house had to be delivered in a manageable steel cylinder, with most parts nesting together as compact as possible. Any single component could be handled by one workman using one hand, leaving the other free to fasten the part in its place. Consequently the services of a helper were not needed. The interior of the house included all kinds of patented inventions by Fuller, like the continuous metallic drop-in dymaxion bathroom and the ingenious paternoster-like shelf-containers.

Fuller Houses; R. Buckminster Fuller's Dymaxion Dwellings and Other Domestic Adventures
Federico Neder
Lars Müller Publishers, Baden, 2008
Home Delivery; Fabricating the Modern Dwelling
Barry Bergdoll; Peter Christensen
MOMA, New York; Birkhäuser, Basel, 2008
Buckminster Fuller Institute