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. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Marty Wheel)

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

This beautiful, wooden, spiral staircase was built using a Stair-Pak kit. (Marty Wheel)

The dome has a living area of 630 square feet.

The dome has a living area of 630 square feet. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Phil McWilliams)

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. (Marty Wheel)

The spacious master bedroom includes a walk-in closet.

The spacious master bedroom includes a walk-in closet. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Marty Wheel)

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

Mexican stones and pebbles embedded into stucco can create attractive designs.   (Marty Wheel)

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delete – I don’t know what this is. (Marty Wheel)

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.

. (Marty Wheel)

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. (Marty Wheel)