Gillis Geodesic Dome House - Detroit, Michigan
Posted by: GT.US
N 42° 19.606 W 083° 04.782
17T E 328644 N 4688152
Quick Description: The Gillis dome is a double geodesic dome home,near the Michigan Central train depot.
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 11/20/2008 11:56:16 AM
Waymark Code: WM56WB
The article at (visit link
) tells us this and more:
"Leo, a musician, lives there with his wife, an artist named Parkii, their sons Zachary, 16, and Ari, 10, and a rat, a cat and two fish. The only dome house in Detroit, it’s may be one of the strongest structures in the city. Made of steel-reinforced concrete, domes are famous for Herculean attributes — able to withstand fires, earthquakes and winds of 150 mph (on a rounded surface, there’s simply nothing for the wind to catch) whether from hurricanes or tornados. Dome company literature says you could stack four cars on a dome with nary a dent.
Leo and Parkii’s house is popular. About 800 people have stopped in for a tour since they built the structures from a kit purchased from American Ingenuity (aidomes.com) nearly five years ago. They don’t mind, as long as proper notice is given. They say the domes were intended to make a philosophical, artistic, architectural and environmental statement.
“We love this neighborhood, we’re from here and we wanted to make a statement that things are happening here, innovators live here,” Leo says.
Designed by philosopher, inventor and mathematician R. Buckminster Fuller in 1948, the geodesic dome is said to be the lightest, strongest, most cost-effective structure ever devised. Fuller advocated sustainable living and creating maximum space with minimum materials. He was an early proponent of renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. “There is no energy crisis,” he said, “only a crisis of ignorance.”
The Gillis residence is certainly a testimonial. The main dome is merely 45 feet in diameter, the side dome 35 feet, but the structure provides 4,000 square feet of living space. The main dome kit cost just $20,000. All told, the cost of building the domes was less than $90,000, and they’re worth more than double that now, Parkii says. The couple says the structures were fairly easy to assemble for novices with scant construction experience.
They’re cheap to maintain too. According to the Monolithic Dome Institute, domes use 50 percent less energy per square foot than regular houses. Last year, the Gillises spent $100 a month in winter to heat the house at a constant temperature of 70, with help from plastic tubes that pump hot water through the dome floor."