I’ve always known about this tiny dome home that’s practically in my parent’s backyard in a very unlikely place.. Miami, Florida.
It turns out that it was built here before any of this area was developed which is the West area of Miami nearest to the Everglades.
Back when this area was considered the woods, this little dome house was built. Back then it was in the middle of nowhere. Today it’s a very developed area and this is the only shelter like it around.
While staying over at my parent’s house this weekend I was able to walk over and capture some shots of it for you.
Afterwards my dad was able to tell me more about it which I just shared with you in the last few paragraphs.
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Photo by Alex Pino
I don’t know exactly how this home was built, but I think it’s so cool because it seems like a cross between a dome, yurt, and cob.
I wish I was able to get some interior shots for you but I felt I was already pushing it by getting into their yard to take these photos. Maybe next time around, I’ll knock but I really didn’t want to invite myself in without warning.
How these Dome Homes are Built (Video)
You’ve got to wonder.. Has this had the same owners the entire time? Has it been passed down? Either way, I think it’s great that it’s still around.
Every other home in this neighborhood was built in the 1980s and 1990s. Today you wouldn’t be able to build anything like this here but it’s so cool to see something this unique and small still around.
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I’m pretty certain based on its appearance that it’s a monolithic dome built by a company of the same name out of Italy TX. They build the most durable, catastrophe proof homes in the world… to my knowledge one of the only designs to rate FEMA’s near absolute protection rating. See monolithic.com for details. Hope this helps, I’ve been interested in these domes for 20 years, gotta save up some money !
Thanks, Mike, this definitely helps, looking into it more now.
This was not built by a company. This was designed and built by my father, mother, and a few of my cousins. This was the first house build out there. Mom and Dad had to have to dirt road put in and it only went to the driveway. Mom still has the original plans. My email is [email protected]
Just wanted to add this comment from Facebook, from John Nomads:
“I remember in the 70’s, there was a company selling dome home kits and franchises. I recall they never really cought on, and the guy who had the local franchise turned his sample into a honeymoon retreat at his motel. 40 years later it still looks good, and is still the attention getter.”
Mike is correct. I’ve been looking at these homes for quite awhile and want to build one on my land in MS if I can find a qualified builder. Hydronic underfloor keeps a temp.of 68 and one 12,000BTU window unit is all you need to cool. They have concrete ring foundations, reinforced with steel rebar and an Airform – fabricated to size – is placed on ring base. It’s inflated with blower fans, then polyarthane foam on interior of 3″, making base for steel reinforcing rebar (horz. & vert.). Shotcrete is sprayed on interior, embedding the rebar.
Thanks for confirming, Linda! I’d like to feature more monolithic homes this year.
GREAT!!! I’d love to see more details Alex but I’d also love to be able to locate a builder. So far I’ve gotten some useful information on the internet except the ability to find a qualified builder AND initial costs.
It’s such a rare structure that I can see why it’s a challenge to find a builder. Maybe it’s easier if the structure you want is small enough to have it built and then ship it to your location?
Also Alex, besides the huge savings on utilities, these monolithic homes are safe in F5 tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes! Living in “tornado alley” in MS and hurricane weather in AL – this is a most enticing feature for me.
Great point, Linda, thanks again!
Hey, poking around, I think I found a youtube video of your “miami dome” does this one have a porch on the far side… it looks really similar, especially those windows. It appears to be built in the manner of the eco-shelters by monolithic with foam added later.. seems the hard way to build compared to monolithic’s established outside to inside methods. Link repeated below : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipjIRApCSjc
Thanks, Mike, that video was a great find! I added it to the bottom of the post so others can easily see it, too. Thanks again!
The design looks simple but cute! I am glad that I am learign about these houses and how are more advantages than contemporary ones – just image the possibilities!
Thanks, Stacy, me too!
There are a few of these monolithic dome homes in South Carolina too. Google “eye of the storm”. It was built after hurricane Hugo came through and destroyed the house. A few more people built these types of domes close by in that same area too. This particular dome is not a tiny home by any means though. I would never build something so large myself….just an interesting story.
Cool Thanks, we will check it out 🙂
I know that home; it originally belonged to my in-laws. I don’t know the current owners. As for the interior, I’d have to look for old pictures from when my kids were young, at least 30 years. I remember a wooden spiral staircase leading to the upstairs.
Lola in Miami, Florida
Actually my granfather and grandmother built this house…..my Aunt Diana could tell you more about it.
The video you linked is not how monolithic domes are made from the company that invented them. Here is a correct video link. https://youtu.be/2yJfcnIFYqg?t=80
There’s more than one way to build them, as Mike Love pointed out when he provided that video link to how he thought this one was built by its appearance and noted it’s not how Monolithic domes are built. The article just incorrectly described it as the way dome homes are built, suggesting that’s how all of them are built instead of just maybe this particular one… But yes, good to add the other ways they are built too…
Besides Monolithic domes, there’s Foam and render that is what’s shown in that first video, Brick and former, Space frame, Stressed skin, Panellised timber frame, Beam and hub, Tube and hub, and Flattened conduit… Each have their own pros and cons, and not all are applicable to permanent structures, like the Flattened conduit is used for temporary structures like those erected during Burning Man, etc. events.
Along with a long list of other types of dome related structures that cover similar shapes, like oval, etc. and different engineering methods like suspension instead of compression structures, etc.
If you want to know more about this dome house email me [email protected]
My mother and father build it.