“Tatooine of Catoctin Mountains” is the new Monolithic Dome home of Chris and Shehla Hyser. Nestled in a clearing and surrounded by sparkling trees near Maryland’s portion of the Appalachian Trail, the house is a triple-dome named after Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine. The Hysers built their new home with the future in mind. They included amenities they might need as they age, like a walk-in tub and no stairs.
The house is 1890 square feet (175.6 m²) with a 1000 square foot (93 m²) garage. It hosts three bedrooms, two baths and an inviting great room with a custom kitchen. The living area of the home is within a double dome; each dome is 36 feet (11 m) in diameter and 16 feet (4.9 m) tall, with an 11-foot (3.4 m) arch where they connect. One dome contains three bedrooms and two bathrooms, while the other consists of a living room and kitchen, open and inviting, with a utility closet. Natural light flows through the domes. They have multiple picture windows and sliding glass doors.
The third dome is 36 feet (11 m) in diameter by 15 feet (4.6 m) tall. It connects from the main living area via a seven-foot wide, 12-foot-long (3.7 m) tunnel. It’s home to their two cars and Chris’s motorcycle and tools.
Their location in the Catoctin Mountains is special to the Hysers. “It’s great to see the wildlife here,” Chris said. “We are about two miles from the Appalachian Trail. When I was a Boy Scout, I hiked from Susquehanna to the Potomac over ten weekends.”
The strong winds that sweep across their property prompted the Hysers to build a Monolithic Dome for its inherent disaster resistance. Additionally, Chris’s previous profession as an HVAC technician informed their desire for a home that was energy efficient. Chris reports their new Monolithic Dome home has “…about one-third the footprint on energy consumption and cooling.”