In your article “The greatest buildings never built” (22 October, page 42), you refer to Buckminster Fuller’s New York dome as a “megalomaniac plan”.
That pejorative reference suggests you have missed the plot. Fuller, decades before architects and designers had clambered onto the sustainable design bandwagon, understood the nature and scale of the looming international environmental crisis. He tried hard to make designers around the world aware of the situation and understand the urgent need for them to think deep and act big in response to the scale of the problems we have created (see, for example, his book Utopia or Oblivion: The Prospects for Humanity).
Fuller estimated his New York dome would have a surface area 95% smaller than that of the Manhattan skyscrapers it covered. He also estimated that the consequent energy cost savings would quickly pay for the dome. Had it been built in the 1960s, there would now be many millions of tonnes less CO2 in the earth’s atmosphere.
If higher life forms – mankind included – are to stand a good chance of surviving into the next century many more farsighted and radical “megalomaniac plans” must be turned into reality.
John Prewer, John Prewer Associates, via email