On a beautiful sunny day, hundreds traveled to Italy, Texas, to tour the Monolithic Dome Research Park. Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar—with its painted boots and smiling face—opened its doors on October 15, 2022, along with the offices, classrooms, and industrial buildings at the site—plus two unique Monolithic Dome homes.
While some people came out of curiosity, having heard about it online, many came with hand-drawn plans, ready to discuss building their own Monolithic Dome.
Bruco was open with demonstrations of the Airform manufacturing process. Bruco is where many domes begin, with a layer of fabric on an automated cutting table, then seamed together with two 20KW radio frequency welders.
The tour included the main office of three interconnected domes, plus the shops and other structures on the property. Most domes at the Research Park were constructed as part of the Monolithic Dome Builder Workshops. Plus, the training center was open—where we often teach students how to build the Monolithic dome.
But the stars of the show were the two Monolithic Dome homes opened for tours.
The Callisto dome home should be renamed the Callisto dome complex because it has two Monolithic Dome structures—a 50-foot diameter dome and a 32-foot diameter hoop dome—plus a 24-foot diameter shop, a gazeedome, a 16-foot shop, and—constructed especially for the pandemic—a swimming pool.
The Europa is four connected 32-foot diameter domes shaped almost like a clover leaf. It encompasses 2600 square feet and was completely renovated inside during the pandemic. People went “ooh” and “aah” over the multi-arch shapes and the stylish interior.
We plan to hold another tour in October 2023. Check the Events calendar for more details.