Summer Stories Embrace the Monolithic Dome Home

The Palais Bulles in Théoule-sur-mer, France.

The Palais Bulles, or “Bubble Palace”, is one of nine structures highlighted by Architectural Digest emphasizing round and bubble-like structures—including the Monolithic Dome. “The Palais Bulles is perhaps one of the most recognizable bubble houses in the world.”

Frans-Banja Mulder / Wikipedia / CC BY 3.0

Monolithic Domes found their way into the spotlight this summer, featured in articles in Business Insider, Architectural Digest, and Cowboy State Daily. All three articles noted the creative shape of the dome.

For Business Insider, Katie Hawkinson wrote, “Homeowners living in dome-shaped houses say they protect against natural disasters and save them money on bills.” This insightful article explored the benefits of dome homes, comparing geodesic domes to Monolithic Domes and underscoring the remarkable safety benefits of domes. Hawkinson had a good fundamental understanding of domes and sprinkled her summertime story with a healthy dose of humor.

The article contained a well-told anecdote by Mike South: “We actually had a father and son come to us—the son built a dome home and the dad made fun of him the whole time,” South said. “Then, a tornado came through and fell on the Dad’s house, cutting it in half. The son’s dome also had a tree fall on it, but it was fine. So not long after, I was building the Dad a dome, too.”

Although the article equated geodesic domes and Monolithic Domes without comparing their relative merits at any length, the writer nonetheless managed to convey a good grasp of the essentials. She also responded efficiently to a request for the inclusion of photos of Monolithic Dome homes as well as geodesic dome homes. This oversight underscores that the general public hasn’t learned yet to differentiate and tends to group domes together.

Dome Sweet Dome in New Hope, Alabama.

Architectural Digest also featured Sweet Dome Alabama—a triple Monolithic Dome home in New Hope, Alabama.

Pranteek Patnaik Realty / Sumbitted Media / Fair Use

Architectural Digest included a Monolithic Dome home in Katherine McLaughlin’s delightfully quirky article, “Nine Bubble Houses Around the World,” with the engaging subtitle: “These playful homes will make you wonder if angles are even necessary.”

The grouping of these nine residences as bubble houses, like the grouping of geodesic and Monolithic Domes in the Business Insider article, demonstrated that even very dissimilar places tend to be understood first by how their similarities, such as roundness, set them in opposition to the squares and rectangles that characterize traditional abodes. This type of grouping can blossom into a first step towards recognizing, accepting, and eventually celebrating the unique qualities. By grouping nine houses based on their roundness, McLaughlin begins to bring light to the importance and strength of creative homebuilding as a popular and growing trend.

The Randolph Dome Home near Chugwater, Wyoming.

The Cowboy State Daily interviewed Charles and Susan Randolph about their Monolithic Dome home and its durability and energy efficiency.

Kevin Killough / Cowboy State Daily / Fair Use

Cowboy State Daily’s Kevin Killough wrote: “Chugwater’s Igloo House Is Earthquake Proof, Fire Resistant And Can Withstand Tornadoes, Owner Says.” This article pinpointed a single dome home, Charles and Susan Randolph’s place, named Hoth, in Wyoming. The article went into depth and detail, noting the durability of the Monolithic Dome. Killough recounted how a hailstorm with hail the size of golf balls pelted houses, causing extreme damage, but only made dimples on Randolph’s dome, and even those dimples disappeared when the weather got warmer.

The article in Cowboy State Daily included photos, details, and even an aerial video depicting the Randolphs, their family dog, and many views of the dome itself. This article included accurate information, such as the three ways that the Randolphs heat their dome: floor heating, a double-sided fireplace, and a thermal mass wall. If the articles were bull riders, Cowboy State Daily‘s article would go the full eight seconds and win handily, but the other two had their highlights, too, and wouldn’t need to be rescued by rodeo clowns.

An aerial fly-around of the Randolph Monolithic Dome home.

Kevin Killough / Cowboy State Daily

As natural disasters loom, more and more homeowners will consider stable, secure, and aesthetically enticing options such as the Monolithic Dome home. The summertime surge in media attention to the Monolithic Dome reflects a very real human need for safe, beautiful, comfortable living spaces. From noticing that they’re lovely and shaped differently from the traditional home to celebrating their energy efficiency and strength in times of climate struggle, reporters have awakened to how Monolithic Domes can encourage creativity in home building while providing shelter from the storms.


Amorph Sculpture in Salzburg, Austria.

The Amorph Sculpture is an inspiration in curved architecture.

Horst Michael Lechner / Wikipedia / CC BY-SA 3.0

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