Free Will: A Unique Monolithic Dome
If you said Joe Gora is a man who loves his dome home, you would be right. After completing two Monolithic Dome Workshops, Joe designed and built Free Will, a 42′ × 18′ dome with 1585 square feet of living space, on a double lot in Marietta, Georgia. That process took 18 months and culminated with Joe celebrating Christmas 2000 in his new dome. Since then, his delight with Free Will has not waned an iota.
Kitchen as Focal Point
“It’s a visual knockout,” Joe says, “that has a kitchen as its focal point, placed in the dead center of the house.” Not only is the kitchen with its 16-foot diameter at the dome’s center, but it’s pedestaled atop two steps. As if that were not enough of an attention-getter, Joe arranged the seating in the living area below to face the kitchen.
“That’s were the action is,” he says. “I love to cook — especially for guests — and I like them to enjoy the experience as much as I do.”
Other Rooms Surround Kitchen
“The other rooms radiate off the kitchen, and I’m never more than eight steps away from any one of them,” Joe says. "There’s a generous living room with three windows large enough to walk through, a big bedroom and bath with Jacuzzi, and a utility/laundry room. The bedroom has no ceiling, so you can see right up to the top of the dome. And I have a loft that I use as an office.
“It’s great,” Joe continues. “It’s almost one big room because I didn’t partition much off.”
Bringing The Outdoors In
Joe claims that his goal in designing Free Will included keeping it very open, getting the maximum benefit from the shape of the dome, and bringing the outdoors in. He had more than half of the dome’s concrete floor professionally painted so that it resembles stones gracefully resting under cool water.
Natural light floods the dome’s interior through a four-foot skylight over the kitchen and four 18-inch skylights evenly distributed over the rest of the dome.
To make the dome acoustically comfortable, Joe sprayed its interior, above the seven-foot level, with a spongelike, sound insulation that absorbs echoes and makes people feel like they’re inside a soft, cushiony cloud.
Joe thinks of Free Will as the perfect home that suits him spiritually, physically and economically. He says he has never had a utility bill that exceeded $50 per month. But his future plans include building a dome community in another area, so selling Free Will might be necessary. He says, “Free Will might not sell easily because of its design. Right now, it’s a one or two-person home. But that can be fixed. Monolithic Domes are easy to remodel.”
Note: Dollar amounts quoted are 2001 prices.