Art: Design for Osaka

At Montreal's Expo 67, the glittering bubble designed by Buckminster Fuller made the U.S. Pavilion the highest—and most striking—building at the fair. For Osaka's Expo 70, the U.S. has come up with a switch: a ground-hugging shallow dome that will be the lowest pavilion at the fair—so low, in fact, that part of it will be underground.

Designed by a team of young New Yorkers who won the commission over much better known contestants, the present pavilion is a comedown of sorts from the spectacular cluster of airborne spheres originally proposed but ruled out by a congressional budget slash. But the design...

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