The Eye of the Storm is a beautiful Monolithic Dome beach house right on the Atlantic shore of Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina. George Paul of Thermospheric Structures, Inc. built the house for his parents to replace the home they lost to Hurricane Hugo. He intended the home to be a shelter-in-place structure during and after a hurricane. George Paul designed Eye of the Storm to suggest a seashell that could be part of the beach itself.
The dome is the first, horizontal prolate ellipsoid—the same shape as a watermelon—Monolithic Dome ever built. It’s 80-feet (24.4 m) wide by 57-feet (17.4 m) deep placed on the property with the long “side” facing the ocean. The dome is 34-feet (10.4 m) tall.
The ground floor encompasses 2,835 square feet (263.4 m²) of open-air garage space, an elevator, a 182 square foot (17 m²) storage, two changing rooms with showers, and a 297 square foot (27.6 m²) air-conditioned art studio. There are no structural columns on the ground floor. The second and third floors are suspended from the dome shell. This design allows storm surge to pass safely through the garage space during a hurricane.
The 3,587 square foot (333.2 m²) living space spans the second and third floors. The second floor—or main floor—houses two bedrooms, three bathrooms, a kitchen, dining room, living room, breakfast nook. The living room leads out to a covered balcony with a spectacular ocean view. The third floor has the master bedroom, master bath, den, and a sitting room. The master bedroom has a private, ocean-view balcony.
The home was featured in national news broadcasts, magazines, newspapers, and more. Extreme Homes on HGTV dedicated a half hour to the house. George Paul has since retired from dome building, and both of his parents have passed away. The home was sold in October 2018.