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.
As we created the Dome of a Home, we realized that options were extremely limited for those who wanted to build a luxury dome home. We bantered back and forth about forming a design group that could fill the niche for those who desired an aesthetically beautiful dome structure. After Jonathan Zimmerman passed away, the void was magnified further. When people called who were interested in building a dome, we no longer had an architect to give them. We found it frustrating to meet people who wanted to build smarter and stronger with a dome structure, but were so limited in their choices they gave up and built a conventional home. Tired of turning people away with commiserating sympathy, we decided to form a team of creative, innovative, educated people who can deliver customized plans for a beautiful dome. This think tank of visionaries is known as the Dragon Speed Design Group.
Dante, a world class architect, and Mark, owner and co-designer of Dome of a Home, work together with their clients to create a structure that is custom designed for their lifestyle and lot. We specialize in capturing the best views; accommodating the family’s needs and hobbies; and creating living spaces that embrace them and make them happy to be home.
Dragon Speed Design Group finds their inspiration in the shapes and forms of nature’s anatomy. We strive for the buildings to have an organic feel to their appearance so they become a beautiful aspect of their environment. We design spaces that best access and enjoy the gifts of Mother Nature’s beauty. The interior of the domes will utilize the latest technology while maintaining the flavor of the environment in which it is being built. Frank Lloyd Wright designed his dwellings by using the building site as inspiration. He once said, “No house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill, belonging to it. Hill and house should live together, each the happier for the other.”
Our projects are an unprecedented fusion of innovative architecture and nature’s wisdom. When we traveled to Malta, we were inspired by the wonderful buildings there
- many of them over 500 years old and still in use. Malta’s structures taught us that we can build durable and less “disposable” homes. Hi tech tools can offer low tech solutions and answer many of the challenges we face in building today, including longevity and environmental impact.
And sometimes our inspiration is an unlikely source. While watching the movie, The Lake House, I was intrigued by the philosophy expressed by one of the characters. Discussing architecture with his son, the character relays the following gems: “A structure should illuminate the art within, it is all about the light of the environment. For a truly great structure to stand the test of time, it never disregards its environment. If an architect wants his structure to have presence, he must consult nature and be captivated by the light.”
TIME magazine stated that curvilinear architecture is one of the top one hundred advancements for this century. Technology has finally arrived that has allowed us to approach the speed of the imagination. New architectural software now allows one the ability to create and design buildings that are art form with function. These software advancements were used to design Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum. Previously, only the auto and aerospace industry had the resources for this type of technology. Now, we are able to dream freely and the technology is available to help manifest our wildest imaginations.
Significant research and data confirm that our planet is undergoing a change in its climate. Global warming, regardless of whether the cause is natural or man-made, is affecting the way humans interact with their environment. Researchers found four times as many large wildfires occurred in Western forests between 1987 and 2003 compared to the previous 16 years. The more recent fires burned 6.5% more land, the average duration of the fires increased from 7.8 to 37 days, and the overall fire season during those years grew by an average of 78 days.
Extreme environmental forces compel us to incorporate extreme building solutions. Domes resist a variety of assaults by Mother Nature. The dome structure is impervious to tornadoes, landslides, avalanches, earthquakes, fires, snow and ice storms. Even the tsunami of 2004 has spawned an avid interest in utilizing more domes as the destroyed areas are rebuilt.
When repetitive hurricanes struck their home, Mark and Valerie Sigler responded by building a monolithic dome structure. Studies at Idaho State University determined the Dome of a Home will withstand 500 + mile an hour winds. Its curved shape and massive weight resist storm surge damage. These qualities combined with an absence of a roof to be compromised makes the dome extremely hurricane resistant.
The Siglers also own a historical cabin in Montana. Regional forest fires and frequent earthquakes in the area have caused them to consider the advantages of building a dome there as well. For this area of the country, a dome should address the issues of forest fires, earthquakes, avalanches, ice and snow storms. By planting the domes into the mountainside, they become immune to Mother Nature’s attacks. The shape is strong and not vulnerable to the weight of avalanches, landslides, or snow and ice build-up. The strength of the dome shape also makes it impervious to earthquakes. With the appropriate Hepa-filter system and fire resistant coating, a dome’s occupants would likely survive a forest fire.
Dragon Speed Design Group’s goal is to create beautiful, functional structures that embrace their environment and its challenges. The creation of enduring architecture springs from passion and curiosity. We create homes that are light-filled, proportionate, and durably crafted. The designs are guided by the character, texture, and rhythms of the surrounding landscape. Our balanced interiors offer calming sanctuaries from the rigors of everyday life while honoring our clients’ individual possessions. Truly exceptional homes are the result of consistent communication, dedication, and integrity.
The long-term mission of the Dragon Speed Design Group is to establish a proven model of compatibility between human settlement and the conservation of natural resources and landscape.
You can get a glimpse of our new conceptual dome, the Skybird Lodge at Dragon Speed Design Group.
Detailed pictures can be found of the Dome of a Home at www.domeofahome.com.
DRAGON SPEED DESIGN GROUP CONTACT INFORMATION