Driving through a suburb of Boston past charming turn-of-the century Colonial and Victorian homes, listening to Studio 360 on NPR discuss the environmental, safety and economic advantages of these eco-dome houses pictured above, I thought: Sure, those are great in the California desert which already resembles a planet from Star Wars, but could homes like this (which I must say, appear really quite livable) ever be accepted by neighbors and zoning boards here in New England?
The homes are part of the Cal-Earth project, founded by Iranian architect Nader Khalili, a non-profit developing these dome-shaped homes made from a mixture of mud and concrete layered with barbed wire, which are affordable, sustainable, not to mention earthquake, tornado and flood resistant. The project focuses on the idea of creating forward-thinking housing for the world's poor and diaster stricken, but could really be utilized by anyone. Aside from the technology that has been developed, it's also of great importance is that the buildings' designs become widely accepted if they are to become more prevalent throughout the world.
Which leads back to the question, could this type of architecture ever overcome the “not in my backyard” attitude and thrive in our country's suburbs and urban centers? Hearing the story on the radio, I had my doubts, but after seeing the photographs of the domes on Cal-Earth's website, I have hope — I personally find them incredibly cool and the interiors are inspirational. After all, as we noted in our post yesterday about architect Erno Goldfinger's home, even modernism was a passionately opposed in its day.
Would you live in an eco-dome?