July 14, 2023

  Smithsonian Collaboration


The School of Architecture and Planning collaborated with The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on an exhibition entitled "Reconstructing "Weatherbreak' in an Age of Extreme Weather." This collaboration, led by museum curator Abeer Saha and Catholic University assistant professor Tonya Ohnstad, reconstructed the “Weatherbreak” – the first large-span geodesic dome to be erected in North America – within the Museum in collaboration with museum staff, students and faculty July 5-7.

Visitors watched the students and faculty construct the dome on-site, then walk through the geodesic dome made of more than 1,000 aluminum struts and sprits. “Weatherbreak” rose 25 feet high and spanned 49 feet wide.

Built more than 70 years ago by architect Buckminster Fuller’s student Jeffrey Lindsay, this is the first time the iconic structure was reassembled since it came into the Smithsonian collections. The project also featured exhibit panels on the history of the Fuller dome as well as the role of domes in helping to address climate change challenges.