Redesign of Buckminster Fuller's Fly's Eye Dome - CODAworx

Redesign of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome

Submitted by Studio DanReiser

Client: Dacra Corporation

Location: Miami, FL, United States

Completion date: 2016

Artwork budget: $1,000,000

Project Team

Lead design, Project Manager

Daniel Reiser


Lead design, Engineering and installation

Seth Weisman

Conform Lab


Goetz Composites


The Buckminster Fuller Institute commissioned a team of 3D-design specialists to recreate it using materials and technology not available to the architect during his lifetime.

SDRD, Conform Labs, and Goetz Composites created a 3D parametric model from the original parts, then used a five-axis CNC machine to produce a series of engineered components. The structure features a re-designed lower truncation, a new joining system that prevents water penetration, and a passive ventilation system.

Sitting above the access from the car park, the new dome is installed in front of Sou Fujimoto’s almost-complete Palm Court shopping center at 140 NE 39th Street. A spiral staircase inside the structure connects the courtyard with an underground car park directly beneath.


The original Fly's Eye Dome was a basic prototype. The goal was to redesign the Fly's Eye dome so it would meet the strict Hurricane codes of Miami using advanced technology. The primary goal was to maintain the geometry of the original crown. It was designed in only three parts to make the entire dome modular.


The collaboration was intense for all parties in designing the new system, working with the fabricators, architects, and engineers.
The most challenging part was that everyone involved understood Fuller's concept and geometry of the Fly's Eye Dome.

Additional Information

‘Buckminster Fuller invented the dome as a ‘the machine for living Craig Robins commissioned BFI to produce a fly’s eye dome utilizing state-of-the-art materials and techniques. firstly, work began on analyzing the original 24-foot prototype – its materials, joining systems, and in particular the lower truncation panels in order to improve the overall structural integrity. the analyses lead to design modifications that dramatically increased the strength and wind load performance of the dome. in addition, a new system of retaining rings has been used to hold the acrylic lenses in place, sealing the dome from water penetration.