The McWilliams’ Monolithic Dome Home: Tragedy and Triumph

After the October 2007 fire in Santiago Canyon, a hilly, wooded area of Orange County, California, burned their home, Melody and Phil McWilliams decided to build a fire-resistant Monolithic Dome.

After the October 2007 fire in Santiago Canyon, a hilly, wooded area of Orange County, California, burned their home, Melody and Phil McWilliams decided to build a fire-resistant Monolithic Dome. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

The McWilliams’ new homesite now includes a dome home and a combination dome garage/guest house.

The McWilliams’ new homesite now includes a dome home and a combination dome garage/guest house. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

This Monolithic Dome home, built on a stemwall, has two levels, a diameter of 48 feet, a height of 25 feet and a total living area of 2295 square feet.

This Monolithic Dome home, built on a stemwall, has two levels, a diameter of 48 feet, a height of 25 feet and a total living area of 2295 square feet. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

Windows and doors were installed by Andersen Windows and Doors who also produced a video with a virtual tour of this dome-home.

Windows and doors were installed by Andersen Windows and Doors who also produced a video with a virtual tour of this dome-home. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

This beautiful, wooden, spiral staircase was built using a Stair-Pak kit.

This beautiful, wooden, spiral staircase was built using a Stair-Pak kit. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

The dome has a living area of 630 square feet.

The dome has a living area of 630 square feet. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

Melody created a base-line border with pebbles, that neatly integrates the teak wood of the floor with the dome’s stuccoed walls.

Melody created a base-line border with pebbles, that neatly integrates the teak wood of the floor with the dome’s stuccoed walls. <cite class='credit'>(Phil McWilliams)</cite>

The living area includes a Spin-A-Fire fireplace with a circular, stone bench.

The living area includes a Spin-A-Fire fireplace with a circular, stone bench. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

The spacious master bedroom includes a walk-in closet.

The spacious master bedroom includes a walk-in closet. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

This toilet has dual-function water. Clean water washes your hands, then the toilet.

This toilet has dual-function water. Clean water washes your hands, then the toilet. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

Mexican stones and pebbles embedded into stucco can create attractive designs.  

Mexican stones and pebbles embedded into stucco can create attractive designs.   <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

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delete – I don’t know what this is. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

The Chinese Teak Wood Laminate flooring was purchased with funds from $1 million contributed by an anonymous donor to help the victims of the fire.
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The Chinese Teak Wood Laminate flooring was purchased with funds from $1 million contributed by an anonymous donor to help the victims of the fire.

. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>

An elevated walkway connects the Monolithic Dome home with the dome garage that’s topped by a guest apartment.

An elevated walkway connects the Monolithic Dome home with the dome garage that’s topped by a guest apartment. <cite class='credit'>(Marty Wheel)</cite>