The space under a dome is unique and often inspires an uplifting sense of wholeness. British furniture design company Timothy Oulton used the dome as the centrepiece space for a series of buildings, designated as a creative meeting place for the brand's designers. Built out of solid FSC-certified and reclaimed timber and located in the middle of a lychee garden, the Dome Home is meant as a creative retreat away from the hubbub of busy Gaoming city in southern China.
According to the designers and seen over at Designboom, the Dome Home is extremely energy efficient, requiring equivalent of boiling a kettle of water to heat or cool its interior, thanks to it adhering to German Passive House standards. Its triple-glazed windows were imported from Europe and the walls are well-insulated to keep operation costs down.
The designers say that building the Dome Home did present some problems:
The project’s biggest challenge was the precision engineering required. A UK specialist company was employed to focus on the construction design while the interior was designed in China. Solid timber structures are rare in southern China so the local building contractor had several challenges to overcome. Eighty pre-fabricated timber panels of 4 different types were made with the greatest accuracy in order to fit together seamlessly.
Inside the dome, specially designed furniture accentuates the uncommon character of this cedar-shingled structure. A central staircase, made with reclaimed wood and customized steel supports, spirals around as the project's focal point. The dome's shell is completely self-supporting, so no columns are seen to be interrupting the space. Outside, a series of supporting buildings and guesthouses surround the Dome Home and are made with reclaimed brick.