Architect in Asteroid

Luis Fernández-Galiano   /  Source:  Arquitectura Viva 197

The Minor Planet Center of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory registers the name Renzopiano for asteroid 216241, discovered at the Osservatorio Astronomico Vallemare di Borbona on 14 November 2006 by V.S. Casulli, and I cannot think of a better name for this celestial body.

With a diameter of 4-5 kilometers, an orbital period of approximately 2 years, and the prediction that its trajectory poses no danger for Earth for at least the next 2 million years, the asteroid that pays tribute to the Italian architect thus enriches two different registers: that of scientific discoveries named after architects, such as fullerene, the carbon molecule whose shape recalls the geodesic structures of Buckminster Fuller, the visionary American designer and inventor so admired by Piano; and that of artistic-literary asteroids, such as B612, inhabited by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s little prince, a universal myth thanks as much to the lyrical text by the French writer and aviator as to his exquisite watercolors, done in New York and now in the care of the Morgan Library, which Piano himself renovated...[+]

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