Chris Walters and Val Jonas, Buckinghamshire

DOMESTIC - Solardome Haven“My favourite reaction was my brother-in-law, he said, a geodesic dome is a thing of beauty.  And he’s right.  It is.”

Chris Walters and wife Val Jonas did not know they wanted a geodesic dome for their home until a fleeting glimpse of one in a video caught their eye and they were hooked.  It immediately went on to their wish list and they started to research their options. They arranged a visit to another dome in their local area, and it was “everything they wanted”. So early in 2011 they took the plunge and ordered a SOLARDOME® Haven.

Chris and Val decided that their dome would be part conservatory, part tropical hothouse, which meant plants having access to the soil, as well as a hard-standing area for a table and chairs.

In preparation for the dome, Chris explains, “Having identified our location, a rather wild, circular patch at the bottom of our garden, which had once been home to a trampoline, we arranged with our local handyman to lay a circle of concrete about half a metre wide, of the same diameter as the dome, providing a firm base on which it would sit.”

“At the same time, we also arranged for our handyman to put in both running water and electricity as we were advised this was much easier to install before the dome went up.”

With the groundwork all prepared, the team from Solardome Industries was able to erect the geodesic dome within a day.  Chris remarks, “I would like to comment on seeing it emerge from a pile of strips of aluminium and triangular panes of glass, but I missed all of that, having had to go to work.  When I returned, it stood there in all its glory; it was perfect.”

Chris and Val went on to divide the interior, deciding to pave a section that was around a quarter of the floor space. In the rest of the dome they planted about half a dozen large, semi-tropical shrubs – a ginger plant, a palm, an orange and a lemon, which have thrived.

Chris reflects, “All of that was two years ago; living with the results has been a joy.  I spent rather too much time in the dome at first, ending up most evenings with a coffee and my own thoughts.”

He continues, “It keeps out the wind, so on a bright chilly day it comes into its own, especially nice as the sun sets as we are lucky enough to have bats whirling just above.  Morning coffee with the papers is also a delight, and night time, with tea-lights twinkling and reflecting off all those different facets is truly magical.”

Chris concludes “Most interesting is the reaction of others.  The dome works wonderfully for evening drinks and nibbles, with a small but select company of friends.  Some of our guests are most taken with the ambience, some with the mechanics of its geometry.  My favourite reaction was my brother-in-law, he said, it is a thing of beauty.  And he’s right.  It is.”

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