Called the "Eye of the Storm", this beach house on an island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina is one of a growing trend of "hurricane-proof" domes—and it's currently for sale for $5 million.
The landmark home on Sullivan's Island—known to locals as the "Star Wars house"—was built in 1989 by George Paul to replace his parents' beach home on the same site, after it was destroyed by Hurricane Hugo.
In addition to its uniquely curvaceous and other-worldly design, one of the most memorable, sweetest and sustainable features of the dome home is in its indoor/outdoor entertaining areas: Paul used bricks rescued from the original beach house to create a fireplace with one chimney but two flues so that it can serve as both a cozy year-round warmer on cool days inside and as a grill for outdoor barbecues on the porch when the weather is nice.
But when the weather is naughty, Eye of the Storm is a four level, 3,500 square foot beach bunker of sorts: constructed of approximately 600 tons of reinforced concrete with eight huge openings, five of which are large enough to drive a car through—or to sustain massive storm surges without a scratch. The three bedroom, five bathroom home cost about $600,000 to build, and advocates for dome home design say it represents the future of building codes and waterfront architecture in the face of climate change.
Pareto Group listing agent Michael Royal, who is George Paul's son and is selling the Eye of the Storm for the first time outside the family, has started an Instagram contest to get more people around the world engaged with the dome home and storm-proof building in general through the hashtag #DomeContest.
Southern Charm actress turned real estate broker Cameran Eubanks recently joined in on the fun on Instagram, sharing her local's love for the "Star Wars house" with her nearly 1 million fans.
One of the most iconic homes in Charleston is for sale. "The Eye Of the Storm" house is a concrete and steel dome residence on the front beach of Sullivan's Island. Estimated to weigh 650 TONS! This futuristic design was constructed to withstand a category 4 hurricane and give owners total peace of mind. The views from almost 900 sqft of deck space are incredible. I have always called it the "Star Wars" House. Can't believe it's finally for sale. Message me if you want to know more. This is a very special piece of property. $4.9 mil.
Similar homes, like the Dome of a Home on Pensacola Beach, Florida—a 6,000 square foot beach house with indoor and outdoor living space and spectacular views of both the Gulf of Mexico and Santa Rosa Sound—have often been featured on shows like Discovery Channel's Raging Planet for their environmentally innovative architecture designed to weather coastal climate change with aplomb.
Dome of a Home owner Mark Sigler, who's lived through nine major hurricanes over 15 years, claims that every single home "on the front row" around him on Pensacola Beach has been replaced due to storm damage while his "incredibly tough" dome home remains intact.
"The massive thickness of these walls, 18" or so, you beat on them with a baseball bat and you won't do any damage to them," he says in the Discovery video. "That's basically what a hurricane does: beats on your house with baseball bats."
After Hurricane Ivan, the Dome of a Home was supposedly one of the only homes left standing—proving that (according to Sigler) "it doesn't have to be that way".
If you're convinced that coastal living in a dome home is the wave of the future (pun intended), scoop up Eye of the Storm for a cool $5 million—or check out the Monolithic Dome Institute for all the resources needed to build your own.