DOME LIFE INTERVIEW featuring Curran Boyle, and his family, and their 17′ & 24′ Dome Homes
In this interview we speak with Curran Boyle about dome life. Curran is an experiential designer, dome dweller, husband and father. Part visionary, part strategist, Curran spends his days thinking about ways to improve modern public spaces. He is passionate about conveying how emerging technologies are relevant to people’s environment/experience.
From One Dome to Two
Pacific Domes: How has dome life changed with the recent addition of your 17′ bedroom dome?
Curran: Adding a second dome has been an interesting process. I was initially excited about having extra space, however the transition between the two domes has been a challenging design problem.
Of course I love having the master bedroom on the main floor and having the closet and extra balcony off the bedroom. It’s everything we wanted, but there is something to be said about having everything underneath one dome. It’s just different type of feng shui.
I haven’t really completed the finishing of the actual construction. The transition where the tunnel meets our 24′ dome still needs to be finished correctly in terms of the way it matches materials. It’s watertight and I insulated it with fiberglass. But I feel like there’s more construction then I initially anticipated.
Also, I think I’m going to build a third dome because having only two domes doesn’t feel correct. It feels like our dome home needs to be in the shape of a triangle and not just a tunnel between two domes. However, I don’t think I will build a passageway between the 2nd and 3rd domes. As far as the layout is concerned, walking from dome to dome doesn’t have the same feeling as having the whole family and all of our belongings under one roof. It’s complex. If I was to do it again I would just build a 30-36’ dome instead of 2-3 connected domes.
But it’s really nice because we have our master bedroom now with a walk-in closet, and our daughter has the upstairs loft above the kitchenall with all of her toys and she can have friends sleepover. We have the family room and kitchen downstairs, so we’re all connected. I imagine it will have a completely different feel& when I add the third dome. I will be using it as a studio for my wife’s yoga practice, meditation and her holistic treatment work. I think the 3rd dome will tie together all of the spaces.
On November 8, 2018, at 6:30 AM PST an electrical transmission fire tore across the landscape near Chico, CA. The Camp Fire was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history. It is also the deadliest wildfire in the United States since the Cloquet fire in 1918 and is high on the list of the world’s deadliest wildfires; it is the sixth-deadliest U.S. wildfire overall. Wikipedia
Pacific Domes: How did the Camp Fire effect you?
Curran: The Camp Fire was crazy. On the night of the Camp Fire the weather was indescribable, you could feel the energy and it was haunting. The next day we received the news of the destruction and we started receiving phone calls about which way the fire was coming and the weather reports. We had a friend from over the mountain call and tell us that he was packing up and moving out and that he didn’t trust the fire would be contained on the other side of the lake. After a couple of hours, my wife and I decided that we should be cautions and we loaded up our camper. Not 30 minutes later we had the fire department and the sheriff come to the domes, they told us to evacuate. We started packing hysterically and we were super scared.
We were evacuated for almost a week. We stayed at a friends property and came home to a complete mess. People were allowed back up to the mountain while it was raining. All the doors and windows of our dome were open, and it was flooded. It was like a tornado had blown through our our property, the fire had burned right up to our driveway and had stopped due to weather conditions and the local fire department. The good news was that we were able to get fire insurance on the domes over the phone before the evacuation. We were super grateful. We know people that lost their homes and others who lost their lives to the fire, so needless to say it changed us in an indescribable way and I think we will always remember it.
Pacific Domes: Have you done any fire suppression around the property?
Curran: The property has a 300 foot fire break that’s bulldozed around the perimeter, but you know the Manzanita bushes grow super fast and every year it’s good to do as much clearing as possible, it’s just a lot of work. Lately I am with the family, as it’s just not as much a priority. I think next year I will have the bulldozer back and I will clear out some more space for a fire barrier.
Pacific Domes: How is life as a family with a toddler in the dome?
Curran: Life with our family and our daughter is fun and exciting and super busy. We play, play, play all day long on the land and in the domes. We are always together, we spend a lot of time with family, we travel a lot and we have an alternative lifestyle that affords us to make decisions that are different for our child. Overall I’m super excited and I am grateful to to be able to do what we do.
By choosing to live this alternative lifestyle and choosing this housing solution/building the domes, we don’t have a mortgage. The land was low-cost and is now paid off, which allows us the freedom to spend what money we have on traveling and visiting family and friends.
If you missed the Part 1 of this blog post, you can read it here. From Living in a Dome on the Range