Monolithic Domes have been used for many purposes around the world, but music studio might not be the first to come to mind.
That was the idea of Greg White Hunt, owner of Bamboo Music and Gardens in Cohutta, Georgia. Hunt is a musician and performer and thought the acoustics of a dome could create the right atmosphere to literally strike the right chord.
Around the year 2000, Hunt was working at an engineering firm that was going under. He had wanted to attend the dome builder’s workshop at Monolithic headquarters, and the firm paid his entire expenses to attend. His attendance at the workshop reinforced his idea of a Monolithic Dome music studio to fill his recording needs.
The Airform was ordered a few years later and he was on his way to building his own Monolithic Dome. The entire dome was built as a music studio and is located in his bamboo gardens, which he grows to make bamboo flutes. He contracted out the work for the foam spraying, but did the rebar himself. The completed structure is a 30×12’ dome with a four foot stem wall.
If you visit his bamboo gardens today you will see the Monolithic Dome hiding among tall bamboo plants, some as tall as 80 feet. The dome is seen by many people because “people come from all over to see the bamboo gardens,” Hunt said. The bamboo is quite the attraction, with some plants growing two feet per day. Hunt also hosts events at the location, including a recent open house.
The acoustics of the dome structure really intrigued Hunt and were what drew him to the design. While at Monolithic headquarters for the workshop he tested the acoustics in some empty domes with his flute. He stated the domes provide better echoes than traditional structures, and these acoustics matter to someone like Hunt, who plays several different instruments including French horn, bamboo flute, and guitar.
The reason the dome is preferable to traditional structures is the echo and the way the sound moves. Inside the dome the “sound heads to the very center of the dome and comes down in a cone shape,” Hunt stated. Depending on where the microphone is placed, it can create different effects on the recording. Hunt stated he enjoys this method and uses the acoustic sound and echoes rather than electronics. Domes are also very sound-proof from outside sounds, giving Greg a quiet space to work in. Speaking of his use of the dome as a music studio, Hunt stated “it’s been wonderful.”
His use of his current dome has led him to build more, this time in Costa Rica. “I bought property down there three years back,” Hunt said. There are two domes under construction at the site, and the foundations were recently laid. While not forgetting his original dome in Georgia, he is considering renting out for people to stay in.