Dome Houses

Dome bookDomebook 2
Kahn and Pacific Domes

Submitter: This book is DomeBook 2. We must have had DomeBook 1 at some point, but all we have now is DomeBook 2. In Reference. Because it’s important to know where your next geodesic dome is coming from.

Holly: I’ve worked a public library reference desk for 12 years – most of that time at 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, with no off-desk time – and I have NEVER been asked for a blueprint to build a dome house.  If dome houses were a popular thing in our area, I’d try to find something more current than this for sure.  I am intrigued by the people in the picture below who live in this dome house, though.  I’m also picturing the publishing executives in a meeting in 1970: “What we really need is ANOTHER book about dome houses!”

tube frame domes

  1. The reason these never caught on is because they leak. All of them. Even hippies get tired of living with water dripping onto their heads from thirty feet in the air eventually.

  2. Ah, c’mon. This is a classic! If you don’t want it, I’ll gladly take it off your hands.

    And you probably never had the first Domebook. It’s pretty rare, I’m told.

  3. My boss just made a joke about geodesic domes buildings being the “wave of the future” last week. Buckminster Fuller must be so disappointed.

  4. Reminds me of the “flying saucer house” on Signal Mountain in TN. Google it. It’s srsly weirdly cool. Cooler than dome houses. Why aren’t there any instructions on building a saucer house?

  5. I’m actually surprised this book hasn’t been checked out by LOST fans wanting build their own Hatch.

  6. Could you weed that book over to my personal library? Over Christmas I toured a company that builds domes, and I’m totally interested in living in one now. @Fnarf: Today’s technology is much better, and these bad boys apparently save you a ton on utilities. And they’re not really any more expensive to build than a box house.

  7. Oh, and @jamisings: You can get some domes that are a thin layer of concrete on the outside, then a layer of NASA-type styrofoam for insulation, then gypsum roofing tiles on the inside.

  8. i love, love, love books like this from the late 60’s to early 70s. LOVE THEM. its such a distinct look and feel-the 2 hippies there…man that just sums it all up, the whole vibe. i snap these up whenever i can. would you sell me this? seriously.

  9. What’s with that cover photo? That was the best they could do? It’s like they were sneaking a picture of someone’s home that they weren’t supposed to photograph.

  10. One of our sandal-wearing, hippie-throwback faculty just ordered a bunch of new titles on sustainable building materials and techniques, including straw bales, cob, thatched roofs and earthen structures. I’m surprised he didn’t want something on domes. You never know when a trend will come back!

    1. And check out that font used for the title and headings! Very dome-esque, if you can fashion such a word.

  11. Actually, people are building and living in some pretty sophisticated domes and yurts these days. Maybe you want to update your collection.

  12. WeedingGirl, sustainable building topics are actually very current. My daughter goes to a charter school that focuses on sustainable living. They hope to build a permanent structure with hay bales. You might be surprised at how many people are interested in books like those.

  13. I’ve seen the domes in Italy, TX and I love them. They’ve got one set up with several domes in a row painted like a caterpillar. But yeah, the book is a weeder since most new construction is built to be more permanent.

  14. My dad sold and built geodesic domes and we lived in one from the time I was 8 to when I graduated from high school. It was an amazing house, and it never once leaked – even though we were in the Sierras with heavy snowfall. Domes are incredibly energy-efficient, and they’re so cool!

  15. When I was in junior high in the 1980’s, my math teacher and her husband was building one of these for retirement. I really wonder if if they ever moved in or are living in it now…

  16. They were popular in my neck of the woods in the 70s and 80s (concept homes in general were). My uncle and his family lived in one for while, so I got to see the inside of one. Cramped but functional.

  17. Some of the coolest and most innovative house designs are also the least livable. Remember the all-glass house from the 1950s? Thomas Edison took a bath when his concrete house turned out to be not one of his better inventions. Perhaps there’s a germ of a book here: house designs that flopped…

  18. I bought a copy back in the mid-70s, which I still have.

    I checked prices on Alibris, and the cheapest one I can find is $30. Hopefully it wasn’t tossed in the recycle bin.

  19. I dicovered this book in my parents book collection when i was 10 or so. I thought it was just about the greatest thing I had ever seen. Every kid dreams of a world where they live in a dome. It may not be the best resource, but it sure is fun. Plus it’s cool to be interested in hippies these days.

  20. I grew up in a very small community (fewer than 50 homes) in southern Utah that had three – count ’em three! geodesic dome homes all built in the 80’s. All three are still occupied – one has been sold multiple times. (Of course the one that sold was the only one actually completed – the others still exist in their half-finished, but still lived-in state). I also currently attend a church that consists of two large domes here in Portland, OR. (also built in the 80’s)