American Lves in Fantasy ‘Dome Home’ He Built on a Mango Farm
Up in Isarn somewhere in Nong Khai province, in the middle of a mango farm, Steve Areen built what looks like his own Hobbit hole.
With direction from a friend who specializes in building “dome homes” at a retreat center, Areen, a former Delta Airlines flight attendant, erected his 46.5 sqm home with the help of a couple friends.
The cost of his cool domey-cile? Less than THB300,000, and it only took six weeks to build.
“The cost for the basic structure was under $6,000,” Areen wrote on his blog. “It took a few more weeks to add the details, such as doors, screens, pond, upstairs structure, stonework and landscaping. All this, including furnishings, was under $3,000. ..Bringing my total cost to about $9,000.”
Areen’s home is connected to the grid, but naturally cooled and lit by skylights cut into the dome’s roof.
In 2011 I had a wonderful visit with my friend Hajjar Gibran. For years he has inspired me with his creative ideas. This time he was building domes at his retreat center in northeast Thailand. He and his wife offered me a spot on their mango farm to build my own dome.
With Hajjar’s guidance and design ideas, along with my own, and his son-in-law Tao’s masonry skills, I had my dome home up and painted in six weeks.
The cost for the basic structure was under $6000. It took a few more weeks to add the details, such as doors, screens, pond, upstairs structure, stonework and landscaping. All this, including furnishings, was under $3000. ..Bringing my total cost to about $9,000. Please keep in mind this is in cost-friendly Thailand.
As much as I love my dome home, I probably would not have built it if was a long process. The low cost and time-efficiency of using blocks is what enticed me into building. Because suitable compressed earth blocks were not available at the time, cement blocks and clay bricks were used.
Now the goal is to take this design ..which is quick, affordable, strong, beautiful and fun, ..and build with more sustainable materials that better insulate for colder climates.
At the moment I have no plans or blue prints to share, however, Hajjar and I are working on an improved building method and hope to provide helpful information soon.
On a large organic mango farm, far into the countryside of northeastern Thailand, I have built my little dome home. After recieving an amazing response from around the world, my dome building friend Hajjar Gibran and I have created a new website to provide you with more inspiration, designs, tools and training: http://www.DomeGaia.com The song “Reflection” is off my Bird of Passage CD, available here: http://steveareen.bandcamp.com For more information on my Thailand Dome Home visit: http://www.steveareen.com Cheers!
(All images © Steve Areen)