Castle in a forest
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.
With lots of input from Bob, it was designed by Jim Kaslik of Cloud Hidden Designs, LLC. Ray Ansel of R&S Life Line Domes, LLC constructed the shell and several of the home’s custom-designed features.
A collection of barrel vaults
This Monolithic Dome’s 5000 square feet include a hemisphere with a 42-foot diameter at its center.
“Coming off that center dome, at 120-degree angles, I have three, half-cylindrical barrel vaults,” Bob said. "Those barrel vaults are terminated by half-domes on the outside end.
“When Monolithic made the Airform for this dome, they made it with the vaults in it. Primarily, the house is a collection of barrel vaults,” he explained. “So much of the center dome has been cut away to accommodate the vaults.”
One of those vaults encompasses a royally appointed, spacious master bedroom, bath and a very roomy office. The master bedroom has a slightly curved headboard wall that’s topped by decorative glass blocks with curved edges. The master bath has a cultured marble shower with two shower heads, a comfy corner seat, two corner shelves and a grab bar.
As for the office, Bob had Ray Ansel design and build a bookcase that subdivides that area into two.
The second vault contains two guest bedrooms and a full bath, and the third vault includes a garage with storage cabinets and a sink, a mud room and a utility room.
11th century architecture and 21st century technology
The kitchen, living room and dining room are all in the center dome. Bob said, “A stairway goes along the outer wall of the kitchen, up to the loft which is like a little sitting room that sits above the kitchen. Off the second floor, there’s a little deck. I will have a spiral staircase going from that deck to the tower deck and the castle top.”
Bob thinks of that castle top with its medieval look as a conglomeration of 11th century architecture with 21st century technology. “But it’s a general purpose deck,” he said. "Good for sunbathing, up and away from the bugs, with privacy behind the walls.
“I also have a very nice telescope,” Bob added. “The castle top is the perfect place for that telescope — no street lights, no pollution and high enough off the ground to be above the trees and have a clear view. From up there, I can watch wildlife, lounge, entertain — whatever.”
Eagle’s Eye has unique features, many of which are either curved or rounded in some way. “Of course I did that on purpose,” Bob admitted. “A lot of the roundness was Jim Kaslik’s design. And Ray Ansel has this saying, ‘I like round better than square.’ Well, I agree with both of them. In picking the light fixtures and stuff, I just kept the round idea going. It complements the whole design.”
Note: This article was first presented in November 2006