Beautiful Monolithic Dome Home in the Texas Hill Country

A beautiful Monolithic Dome home — This dream home has a diameter of 50 feet, a height of nearly 29 feet, two stories and 3500 square feet of living space. The dome sits among shady trees on five wooded acres in gently rolling hills.

In 1999, Kim and Robert Reynolds designed and built a Monolithic Dome dream-home, a 5/8th sphere with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of nearly 29 feet, two stories and 3500 square feet of living space. Shaded by more than 80 live oaks, the dome sits on five wooded acres among gently rolling hills, seven miles northwest of Bandera, Texas.

Cleaning the Airform

The Airform — Over time, our not-so-clean environment makes washing the Airform a necessity.

At times it is appropriate to clean the Airform, before or after the building is completed. This may be necessary because of dirt accumulated during shipping or construction, or from our not-so-clean environment.

The Clarks’ Monolithic Dome: A House Built of Credit Cards

Living room — It’s on the main floor and includes a small, wood-burning stove. The owners are not expecting to use the stove. Instead, they rely on a hot water system running along the floor of each level.

You’ve probably heard of a house of cards — one built by stacking playing cards to make a structure. But have you heard of a house built of credit cards? Figuratively speaking, the Gary E. Clark family of Ann Arbor, Michigan did just that. They built a house of credit cards — or, more accurately, financed with credit cards.

This Dome Just Clicks

Thinking round! — Rounded windows reflect the shape of Bill Click’s domicile in Bandera, Texas.

“Confusion isn’t necessarily bad,” said Bill Click, referring to the confusion of tax appraisers and insurance agents. Two years ago, Click and his wife moved into their Monolithic Dome home in Bandera, Texas, located about fifty miles west of San Antonio. “We have five acres of land,” Click said. "We’re on a hill and we have a great view.

A New Look for Randy South’s Monolithic Dome Home

A spacious home — Randy South and his family enjoy living in three, interconnected Monolithic Domes, encompassing a living area of nearly 4,000 square feet and now sporting a beautiful, stucco-like, EIFS finish.

Karen and Randy South and their seven sons and two daughters have liked their Monolithic Dome home since they first moved into it in 1996. After all, what was there not to like? Their nearly 4,000-square-foot dome home adorns a 1,260-acre butte that overlooks the beautiful Snake River in Menan, Idaho and provides them with a unique area for observing and enjoying wildlife.

Podcast: Tomorrows Building Available Today

Monolithic Podcasts

Simply defined, the Monolithic Dome is a super-insulated, steel-reinforced concrete structure that can be designed for virtually any use: office or business complex; school; church, synagogue or temple; gymnasium or sports arena; theater or amphitheater; airplane hangar; factory; bulk storage facility; house or apartment complex; military installation, etc.

Surrounded by Nature’s Antiquity

What a Site! — The Wortman dome home is surrounded by Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines.

It was love at first sight when Sylvia and Keith Wortman found their 10-acre plot in Fairplay, Colorado. At an elevation of 9,953 feet, the area had an intriguing history dating back to the 1850’s Pike’s Peak Gold Rush, spectacular scenery and natural beauty that included Rocky Mountain Bristlecone Pines. Sylvia and Keith saw it as the perfect place for the Monolithic Dome dream home they had been envisioning and planning for many years.

Going Small, Cozy and Safe!

Irie at twilight — Jerri Hudson named her 1000-square-foot Monolithic Dome home “Irie,” which means “alright” in Jamaican.

Irie is Jamaican for alright. And Irie is the name owner Jerri Hudson chose for her new, 1000-square-foot Monolithic Dome home that sits on a 40-acre, wooded site in Missouri. Since moving in this past November, Jerri has found her new home both comfortable and secure — exactly what she wanted.

Trinity Dome

Trinity Dome — It has a Caterpillar-like design of three interconnected domes, each with a diameter of 24 feet, a height of 13 feet and a total area of 1232 square feet. Accent siding was installed below the north-side windows and the front entry. The stone look complements the Airform fabric.

Helen and Pat Meylor call their Monolithic Dome home “Trinity Dome” because of their belief in the Holy Trinity and because it is a tri-dome structure.

Keeping Up With the Joneses

The Jones Monolithic Dome Home — The family made picture boards about this dome and its qualities. They would place these in the driveway and answer questions from curious visitors.

Keeping up with the Joneses? That’s some challenge if you’re talking about matching what the Scott Jones Family of Colorado did in building their Monolithic Dome home. This Jones Family, Scott, Luann and their children Gregory, David, Melissa and Jeffrey, completed much of the work for their two-story, 46′ × 23′ dome as a do-it-yourself project.

A Dome Fit for a King

Eagle’s Eye — This Monolithic Dome home looks like a medieval castle, but it was designed and built with 21st century technology.

Bob Warden may call it “Eagle’s Eye.” But his new Monolithic Dome home suggests a castle. It even has a tower that looks medieval and a balcony on which you can easily picture a princess awaiting her knight in shining armor. Eagle’s Eye sits among stately trees, on 46 acres of quiet forestland, undisturbed by the big city sounds of busy Cincinnati, 45 miles west of it.

Senior Housing

Ariel II

Seniors often come to Monolithic, looking for help in designing a home for their golden years. Some are very realistic and practical about what they need, what they can comfortably afford and how they want to spend the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, others are not.

Off Grid Central Alberta Monolithic Dome

Monolithic Dome home in Canada — This 55-foot diameter dome-home was designed by Mike Forsyth and built by Canadian Dome Industries in 2005.

A Monolithic Dome home, with a diameter of 55 feet, is owned by Lynn Cain and Mike Forsyth in Canada. It was designed by Mike Forsyth and built by Canadian Dome Industries in the fall of 2005. This dome incorporates the concepts of a passive solar house with a Monolithic Dome.

The McMansion!

A McMansion — It’s a big, very pretty house that stays that pretty only as long as it’s properly maintained — often a 24/7 job.

I recently passed a new McMansion, just built this past year. It sits on about ten acres of land, and it’s gorgeous. What disturbs me is the care such a McMansion requires, especially since its owners are older folks on the brink of retirement. Consider their future. The years will weaken them, but the McMansion will continue requiring the same or a greater amount of care and money.

Memory of a Compound House

A Compound House — It’s an attractive, add-as-you-need-to-add, far more practical alternative to a McMansion.

Several years ago, in Palestine, Texas, I met an elderly but active couple who lived in what the husband had designed, built and called “a Compound House.” Over the years I have thought many times about that Compound House, the husband’s reasons for designing it as he did, how it made sense and how adaptable it would be to our lives.

The Most Eco-Friendly Church in Canada

The pastor of All Nations Church in Canada wanted to build the most eco-friendly, energy-efficient church in Canada. That’s why he opted for Monolithic Dome construction.

Yumadome — A Multigenerational Monolithic Dome Home

Eight suites — They are located off the atrium. French doors open to a balcony overlooking the atrium.

Comedian George Burns once quipped, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city,” and his audience probably laughed and nodded in agreement. But there’s a unique family of eleven adults in Yuma, Arizona, who — while they might laugh — would not agree. This group — related to one another either biologically, through marriage, or simply through friendship and a shared sense of values — all live at Yumadome.

SketchUp: A New Planning Tool

Ariel Outside View

SketchUp is a drafting/rendering program produced by Google. On sketchup.google it’s defined as “software that you can use to create, share and present 3D models.” It’s new and it’s fun, and with it you can design a Monolithic Dome home, school, church, gymnasium — or whatever.

A Curved Slice of Heaven

Merrell Residence — Ray and Beth Merrell’s dome sits on a bluff in the Hatchet Ranch development south of Pueblo.

The headline of the Pueblo Chieftain article on a Monolithic Dome home in Colorado says it all. For the Merrell’s, living in a dome home is like a little piece of heaven.

American Society of Civil Engineers Highlights Dome Buildings

Construction Institute

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) publishes a bimonthly newsletter called the Construction Zone for professionals who work in the construction industry. In the September/October issue, the newsletter featured Monolithic Dome buildings.

Due Sorelle: Two Sisters Design a Monolithic Dome Home

Let’s talk! — This small but cozy conversation area features soft-white, curved walls and plump, colorful sofas.

Due Sorelle in the romantic language of Italy means Two Sisters. Thanks to Melinda and Sarah, two daughters of Monolithic’s President David South, we now have a Due Sorelle at our headquarters in Italy, Texas. It’s a 32-foot-diameter Monolithic Dome home, whose 804 square feet include two bedrooms, one bath, a living/dining area and a kitchen.

A Monolithic Dome Home With A Texas Motif

A Texan’s Dome Home — It consists of 3, interconnected Monolithic Domes. Central dome is 28’ in diameter and 14’ tall. Two slightly larger domes, each 32′ × 14′, flank the middle dome.

Can the innocuous armadillo inspire the building of a Monolithic Dome? I wondered about that when I drove to Clifton, Texas to interview Jim Gibbons and see his new dome home. After all, the armadillo is both Texan and the inhabitant of an impenetrable, dome-shaped shell. And, as I soon learned, those are qualities Jim admires.

Compromise or the Best of Two Worlds?

Atalaya del Vulcan — The Cunningham home, named Atalaya del Vulcan, features a Mission Revival style of architecture.

So while some dome-purists might object to a compromise that disguises a dome, Cindy Sue and Daryl Cunningham of Menan, Idaho feel they have the best of both worlds: a Monolithic Dome, or what Darryl calls “the future of building,” and a classic Spanish Colonial home that would appeal to a huge number of modern Americans.

Downsizing Has Advantages

Welcome — A soft-pink front entryway greets and welcomes visitors to the O’Dell Monolithic Dome home in Harrisonville, Missouri.

Theresa and Patrick O’Dell have always been interested in energy-efficient structures, but their interest peaked in 2000 when they saw an ad for Monolithic Domes in Mother Earth News. Patrick said, "Our last house was a conventional, 2000 square-foot home. It was all-electric and our utility bills averaged about $120 a month.

Canadian Dome Builders Greet 400 Visitors during 2004 Dome Home Tour

Monolithic Dome Dream Home — Rebecca and Sunny Cushnie of Southampton Ontario, Canada enjoy these two interconnected domes. The larger dome includes the main living/dining area, a kitchen, laundry room and two bedrooms. The smaller come encompasses the master suite.

Southampton, Ontario Canada is famous for its beautiful sunsets. And now Rebecca and Sunny Cushnie share that fame because of their newly built Monolithic Dome home. An article describing this dream-home in the Toronto Star captured media attention and sent more than 400 visitors to the Cushnie home during Monolithic’s 2004 Dome Tour.

Monolithic Dome Home Survives Missouri Tornado

Open Interior — Romain’s home features an open floor plan and large door and window openings for plenty of light.

Romain Morgan was no stranger to tornadoes. She said, “I had been in a devastating tornado in 1957 in Kansas City, where our house exploded, and we were thrown around. I ended up under a refrigerator, holding one of my babies. So that’s why I decided on a Monolithic Dome and why my daughter and her family come here when there’s a tornado watch.”

Cliffdome — Then and Now

Deck the Dome — At Cliffdome, the Souths’ deck curved around the dome and provided a breath-taking view of the area.

In 1978, Monolithic’s president David B. South and Judy, his wife, built Cliffdome. The home is perched on the cliff of the South Menan Butte in Menan, Idaho overlooking the Snake River. Cliffdome was the largest Monolithic Dome home ever built at that time. It is 75-feet in diameter, 28 feet tall, two and a half levels, 8000 square feet of living space and 1500 square feet of attic space.

The Case Of The Disappearing Dome

Windows — A wall of windows in the dining area provides light and a gorgeous view of the surroundings.

Can a Monolithic Dome home that is three stories high and that has a diameter of 55 feet just disappear? Almost — if it’s built on a bluff overlooking Lake Michigan in Manitowoc, Wisconsin and if it’s painted a pale blue and if a fog creeps up that bluff. Barbara Stitt, who together with husband Paul own this dream-come-true Monolithic Dome home, said, “On a slightly foggy day, the house just about disappears, which is what we wanted.”

Fowler, Kansas Clears The Way For a New Dome School

Fowler High School Rendering

School officials in Fowler will find out in November whether they can move ahead with a Monolithic Dome building to serve as a new multi-purpose facility. Voters will decide on November 4th whether to approve a $1.94 million bond issue that would fund construction of a Monolithic Dome structure that would house a computer/technology lab, a new band/vocal room, a new gymnasium, two locker rooms, and a commons/concession area.

Luxury Monolithic Dome Home

A two-story grand foyer, with a tile floor, opens onto a generous great room.

A rare and exceptional Monolithic Dome home sits on nearly an acre of land, close to Cherry Creek State Park in Centennial, Colorado. Nearly 50 mature trees shade the dome and provide privacy. Designed for energy-efficiency and durability by Chris Barnes, a former aeronautical engineer who worked with Howard Hughes, the dome was built in 1982.

Triumphs and Trials: A First Monolithic Dome Construction

Rosholdt Residence — The fall foliage creates a warm and inviting background to the Rosholdt’s three bedroom, one bathroom dome home in the hills of Mineral, Virginia.  To begin an orchard, numerous fruit tress have been planted on the property.  Commercial reinforced steel doors cut down to a four-foot length provide a Dutch-style shutter on every window.  They are foam-core insulated for an additional R-5 insulation factor.  The Rosholdts plan to coat the dome’s exterior in 2002.

— That’s what Erling and Barbara Rosholdt of Insight Developers near Charlottesville, Virginia claim it took to build their first Monolithic Dome, a 40-foot diameter, three bedroom, one bathroom home. Yet they don’t regret the experience. There are two reasons for that enthusiasm. Erling gives the first: "Our dome construction process took two years of weekends, holidays and vacations — more than 3,000 hours.

A Monolithic Dome Home and Lessons Learned

Eye at the Lake — “Eye at the Lake” is nearly 2,000 square feet which includes a loft that overlooks a great room with a kitchen, dining and family areas, home theater, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, office, spa room and laundry area.

In 1992 when Harold Townsend, a firefighter with the Chicago Fire Department, vacationed in South Carolina, he had no idea he would find his dream home. But that’s just what happened. Sightseeing on Sullivan’s Island, Harold spotted the “Eye of the Storm,” a concrete dome that has survived several hurricanes virtually unscathed. By 2005, Harold had reviewed books, videos and information on this website and had attended two of our Conferences.

Antelope Springs Ranch: Combining old and new

Incorporating shapes — When Bonnie and Bill McLeod built their hunting lodge in Blackwell, Texas, they combined a two-story Monolithic Dome with a two-story octagonal structure.

Can you put a squarish structure next to a Monolithic Dome? Can you place traditional next to futuristic? Won’t the combination look odd? Bill McLeod, an architecture graduate who studied under a protege of Frank Lloyd Wright, believes that integrating a Monolithic Dome with traditional shapes can aesthetically enhance its appeal.

The Callisto: Perfect Design for an Active Family

The Callisto  — This Monolithic Dome sports a wall of windows that lighten and enlarge its living area of less than 2000 square feet.

Many Americans might think that a home with a living area of less than 2000 square feet just wouldn’t do for a family of six.

“Not so,” said Michael (Mike) South, Monolithic Vice President and Construction Superintendent. In October 2006, Mike, his wife Tessa and their four children moved into a Callisto with a diameter of 50 feet, a height of 16.5 feet and a living area of just 1964 square feet.

Charca Casa: House by the Pond

Charca Casa — This attractive and spacious Monolithic Dome home, located at Monolithic’s headquarters in Italy, Texas, can be toured by appointment.

In Spanish, Charca means pond or puddle and Casa means house. Hence, the name Charca Casa or house by a pond. That acre pond functions as a spectacular backdrop for the spacious patio that fronts this fabulous Monolithic Dome home. A thirty-two-foot expanse of windows in the living room provides a view of the activities on the patio and the pond. Charca Casa is an attractive and interesting dome-home and is available for tours by appointment.

Podcast: Studios

Monolithic Podcasts

Monolithic Studios have the strength and durability of steel-reinforced concrete, insulated with polyurethane foam and blanketed with an Airform. It’s energy-efficient, easily maintained, disaster resistant, fire- and termite-proof.

Along The Yellow Brick Road—

Stewarts’ Monolithic Dome home — Many years after it was built, the Stewarts enjoy the comfort and energy benefits of their 50-foot dome home near Eureka, Kansas.

Time: A cool spring morning in 1979. Place: Eureka, Kansas, a rural community of about 2500 people in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. It’s known for its proximity to tornado-prone US 54, the yellow brick road. Event: The inflation of the Airform for the world’s second Monolithic Dome home built by David and Barry South.

Home Energy Magazine Features Monolithic Domes

In the November/December 2008 issue, Home energy has an article about Monolithic Domes.

For 25 years, Home Energy magazine has been providing objective and practical information on residential energy efficiency and performance. Most of the magazine’s editorial content comes directly from the people researching and employing innovative design, building and remodeling practices and products.

The Invisible Dome Home

Entryway — It’s graced by decorative vases and curio cabinets that enhance the southwestern motif of this underground Monolithic Dome home.

Visitors to Glenn Young’s Monolithic Dome home often have a problem finding his front door. And that’s surprising, since Glenn’s home is anything but small. It has 3000 square feet of living space within five, interconnected Monolithic Domes flanked by two EcoShells. Entrance tunnels lead into these EcoShells or foyers. A 15-foot-diameter EcoShell with a three-foot stem wall serves as a front foyer while a 12-foot-diameter EcoShell with a four-foot stem wall serves as the back one for this totally underground dome-home.

Ike, Gustav and Monolithic Domes

Equalizer — Port of Victoria — Equalizer’s two bulk storages at the Port of Victoria were unharmed by the hurricanes.

On September 1, Category 2 Hurricane Gustav blasted our southern coast, killing 138 people and causing an estimated $15 billion in damages. Just twelve days later, Category 2 Hurricane Ike, the third costliest U.S. hurricane and the most expensive in Texas history, killed 96 people and destroyed property to the tune of $27 billion. Monolithic Domes not only survive but protect….

Decorative Concrete: The Name Says It All

Monolithic’s front porch

Decorative Concrete of North Texas services include commercial and residential projects, such as flower walks, driveways, patios and sidewalks. “When you want to add an addition to your driveway or patio and you put new concrete down next to old concrete, it never matches up in color or looks the same," Todd said. "The beauty of this product is, we can do the new addition and top it with this product and it looks like it is all one pour, one piece of concrete.”

Building Your Own Dome Home vs. Having It Built

Construction of Clark dome — This 3400-square-foot multiple dome home was built by Randy & Rachel Clark in Velpen, Indiana.

Building your own dome home means turning yourself into a do-it-yourselfer. Can you afford to do that? Most do-it-yourself projects make very little money per hour. Compare the earning ability of the do-it-yourself project with what you earn at your regular job, including overtime pay you may be able to earn. Can you afford to become a full-time or even a part-time do-it-yourselfer, or might it make better sense to earn as much as you can in your regular job and pay others to build your home?

Building Beautiful Luxury Domes

Dome of a Home — Mark and Valerie Sigler’s dome in Pensacola Beach, Florida was built after their conventional home was damaged twice by hurricanes.

When Mark and I decided to build a dome, we toured several domes and were extremely discouraged with the lack of aesthetic consideration given to the dome’s exterior and the unimaginative floor plans found inside.  We were having second thoughts about building a dome – if we couldn’t build a beautiful dome, we would just keep the home we had.  But after visiting the Eye of the Storm, Mark decided he could design a beautiful dome and enlisted the help of architect Jonathan Zimmerman and designer Robert Bissett. The trio’s collaboration on the Dome of a Home is proof that beautiful domes are possible. 

Frontier Elementary

Frontier Elementary — Three Monolithic Domes encompass classrooms, gymnasium, media center, music room and cafeteria.

At first, some residents of Payson, Arizona were skeptical about the presence of Monolithic Dome school buildings in their community. But less than a year after two Monolithic Dome sites were completed, a new attitude prevailed. “Yes, it’s an unusual building,” said Sue Myers, “but teachers, parents and just about everyone who spends time inside these domes comes away with a positive impression.”

“Marilee,” She Comes Around

Marilee & Larry Byrne’s home — This beautiful Monolithic Dome home has a 12-foot arched entry that opens onto the central living dome.

“Whoever built that ought to be shot!” So said Marilee Byrne the first time she saw a Monolithic Dome. Now, nearly twenty years later, Marilee often recalls that story as she welcomes visitors to her spacious dome home in Italy, Texas, designed by Larry Byrne, Marilee’s husband and MDI’s vice president of marketing and design. The interior of this Monolithic Dome dream home consists of 2660 square feet in three domes, with diameters of 30, 40 and 32 feet.

Damage Prevention — Advice from an Expert

Dennis A. Quan currently works as Benefit Cost Analyst/Engineer with James Lee Witt Associates, the emergency preparedness and management experts of GlobalOptions Group. His past positions include Emergency Manager with the State of Florida, Division of Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation Engineer/officer with FEMA. That experience has prompted Mr. Quan to complete a thought-provoking report about the strength and endurance of structures during natural disasters.

Park University Sports Center: Monolithic Domes for an Underground College

Park U at night — Exterior lighting enhances the beauty of the twin Monolithic Domes.

“Park University is a modern-day pioneer, exploring, expanding and extending its programs,” said Dr. Donald Breckon, president of this 120-year-old, unique college in Parkville, Missouri. Built among bluffs and wooded hills, Park University overlooks the Missouri River. That, in itself, is not unusual. But buildings constructed largely of limestone mined from below the campus is, and that’s just what Park College has at its home campus.

Earth-Bermed, Nature-Friendly, Energy-Efficient Monolithic Dome Home

Earth-bermed home — Andrew South and family live in a 3,200-square-foot, Monolithic Dome dream home built into the side of a butte in Menan, Idaho.

Why and how do two interconnected Monolithic Domes, one with a diameter of 60 feet and a height of 22 feet and the second measuring 50 feet by 16 feet, begin as a research project and develop into an earth-bermed, spacious, dream home and attached garage? Andrew South, vice-president of South Industries, Inc. and the happy owner of this Monolithic Dome home, said it all began nearly eight years ago.