In the 20th century, Buckminster Fuller argued that geodesic domes—that is, a dome constructed from a series of rigid, triangular elements—were one of the most efficient home styles one could build. Domes, he argued, save money on materials and heating thanks to a limited surface area, and the shape encourages natural airflow.
Domes never quite took off the way, say, Craftsmans did, but they have gained quite a cult following in the ensuing years, especially after Fuller won an AIA gold medal award for his work in 1970. This particular dome home was built in 1980, and sits on four acres in Fall City, a rural-suburban area east of Seattle.
The domed design and hillside construction allows the house, despite being more than 3,000 square feet, to fit into a relatively small footprint, leaving more room for horses, gardens, or whatever outdoor dreams you have cooked up.
The dome shape is most apparent in the main living area, left open to a cathedral ceiling. A wood stove pipes into a corner, framed by pentagonal woodwork. Other parts of this floor are tucked under the second floor, like the kitchen, although there are still hints of the wall’s shape. Upstairs, the shape is a little more obvious. Some extremely angular gables create cozy window alcoves for some extra architectural interest.
There’s also a mother-in-law apartment on the lower level—although it looks pretty normal compared to the rest of the house.