Underground dome homes combine unique design, energy savings
and security. The geodesic dome was invented in 1947 by Richard
Buckminster Fuller. Since that time, the aboveground dome home
has dotted the landscape with enthusiasts worldwide.
But, there are also a few pioneers who like living on the edge
of alternative lifestyles and architectural styles who not only
like living on the edge but underneath it. This is where underground
dome homes fit in.
There are four underground dome homes I'd like to talk about
here including ones owned by Bill Lishman (pictured above), Glenn
Young, Fritz Eisenhofer and a Hobbit home in Tennessee. Bill Lishman's
underground dome home, located in Blackstock, Ontario, Canada
is actually a series of interconnected domes popping up like pimples
on the landscape, more akin to gopher holes (packed with dirt
around protruding cones) than other subsurface structures.
Lishman was featured in the movie "Fly Away Home" starring
Jeff Daniels and the moviemakers thought the real underground
dome home was too weird and dramatic so it wasn't even used in
the film. Lishman is an artist, environmentalist, ultralight aircraft
enthusiast and inventor.
Glenn Young along with his partner John
St. Pe built the Monolithic Dome home underground several
years back (pictured right).
It is a 3,000 square foot dwelling that is made up of five interconnected
Ecoshells. This underground dome home is located on a 40-acre
plot in Buffalo, Texas.
Being underground this particular dome home has no windows. So,
Young compensated by hiring Houston artist James Perez to paint
different murals in each dome so every room has a different ecosystem
on the walls.
The Fritz Eisenhofer underground dome
home in New Zealand is actually five cement domes interconnected
12-feet below the surface (pictured right).
This dome home actually has one huge south-facing window peaking
out from beneath the Earth surface catching the sunlight.
Fans inside the home spread the heat to other parts of the underground
dome system. Unlike other underground dome homes (or many other
odd houses) this one actually has an indoor swimming pool.
The Hobbit home in Tennessee is more of
an earth-bermed dome home than it is underground as the
face of the domes are not compacted with earth (pictured
The owners are J. R. R. Tolkein and wanted their house to be
like Bilbo Baggins' Hobbit hole, so that is what they hired their
contractor to build.
The underground dome homes listed share many features that will
appeal to environmentalists and other who like odd architecture.
The domes are structurally sound, keep out noise, save energy,
are sheltered from the elements and burglars plus they make for
wonderful conversation pieces.