From the inside, the very beginning
Memories from Bruce Cowan, Chairman and founder of Solardome Industries
Bruce Cowan, Chairman and founder of Solardome Industries reminisces with us. He talks about his first memories of a geodesic glasshouse dome and how that led him to set up Solardome Industries.
When did you first discover the geodesic dome?
My mother had a boutique hotel in West London with a fairly large and charming country style garden. She loved the garden and the wildlife that abounded there. Her only sadness was that the three storey Victorian houses that made up the hotel cast a long shadow into the garden making a traditional conservatory a waste of time and money.
One year, as was her habit, she went to the Chelsea Flower Show and saw an eye catching geodesic glasshouse dome in one of the garden displays. She asked if it could be built as a freestanding conservatory in the garden and on the assurance that this was an excellent use for the dome, she promptly bought the display model. The firm delivered and erected it in her West London garden, some way away from the shadows of the houses, nestling right beside some apple trees and overlooking her bird bath.
Soon her glasshouse dome was filled with plants and a dining table and chairs so she could enjoy the nature outside but be protected from the elements. Later, out came the comfy armchair so that she could read in the natural light the glasshouse dome created. There is no structure that will give such good natural light as a glass geodesic dome, and with her reading ability deteriorating because of advancing years, she found that she could read books that had long since been discarded as unreadable in the house.
Is it this early memory of your mother’s dome that led you to buy this dome company?
Yes – this is where it all began. When my mother was moving from the hotel in West London her one wish was to take her glasshouse with her. I contacted Rosedale Engineers, who had supplied her dome, and found that they had gone out of business. Like my mother, I was inspired by the domes – I loved their unique and striking design and their ability to provide a sheltered environment outside that could be enjoyed all year round. It was this inspiration and my belief that they were a great product that led me to purchase the design rights to Solardome® glasshouses and set up Solardome Industries. Today, that belief still remains – they are a fantastic product offering opportunities for flexible outdoor living and growing, inspired learning, tranquil and peaceful havens and much much more.
To hear more from Bruce, look out for our next installment from our ‘From the inside’ series in a few weeks time…