adaptability, transformability, prefabrication, Richard Buckminster Fuller, Konrad Wachsmann


The ability to adapt is certainly one of the best qualities possessed by life forms on earth, an essential component for the survival of species. Talking about adaptation in architecture means conceiving the building no longer as a closed system, but as an organism that transforms itself to adapt to changing external and internal conditions. The research presented here shows the experiments of scholars who throughout history have supported and fuelled the concepts of transformability, transportability and adaptability. Among the ‘pioneers’ of the adaptive dimension in architecture, we find the famous architects Richard Buckminster Fuller and Konrad Wachsmann. The first linked its name to the geodesic domes: light, economic and transportable roofs, which can be used in various circumstances. Instead, Wachsmann’s thought was oriented towards the innovation of construction procedures through prefabrication and standardization. Taking these two inventors as a starting point, it is possible to outline one of the most flourishing chapters in the history of architecture, where imagination meets the need to create extraordinary works.


Architecture | Essays & Viewpoint

Adaptive dimension in architecture. Modular and transformable structures as an alternative to traditional building systems

pp. 112-129


Annarita Zarrillo

Author(s) Biography

Annarita Zarrillo is a PhD Student at the Department of Architecture and Industrial Design of the ‘Luigi Vanvitelli’ University of Campania (Italy), and an Assistant to the chair of Architectural Design of Professor Efisio Pitzalis. The research activity takes place mainly in the context of the Architectural and Urban Composition. She researches the evolutionary path of structural systems: from the archetype of trilithon, arch, and curtain to structures resistant in shape.


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