Sunday, September 11, 2011

A little bit about the Dome Home

     I can't remember a time that I was unaware of solar energy. As I mentioned before, my grandfather was always working on ways to conserve our planet's resources. He constantly made improvements to his own inventions, which were already impressive considering the time period. As early as the sixties, he built a house and strategically installed pvc pipes and ran water (that was heated by the fireplace) through them to provide heat for the floors. In the same house, he placed skylights to lighten and heat the rooms. The house was positioned to make the most use of the sun. He was very aware of the sun's potential for energy and began researching ways that he could utilize it.
     His biggest solar energy accomplishment was the completion of a self-sustaining Dome Home. The 3-bedroom, 3-bath island house was powered totally by solar energy; it had a hot tub, two refrigerators, ceiling fans, air conditioning, satellite TV... everything (and more) that you would expect in a home.
    For my next post, I will describe in more detail how the solar energy was used and what he used as a water supply.

Here is a picture of my grandfather and my uncle installing the solar panels:


  1. Incredible! A true inventor!

    Your grandfathers dream home is a site of beauty and fond memory of my childhood. I will never forget the moments spent on Cape Romano pondering how this place came to be. So neat and inspiring! Thanks for blogging!

  2. I have always wanted a DOME then husband thought they were too futuristic and I said so what...we are in Florida...we have hurricanes here....wink....these survived Wilma even though they were already in disrepair...WOW...what does that say for geodesic technology....this is such a looked like a wonderful place to go and HOW I would love to have one now....fully self contained....

  3. Our primary home is a geodesic dome in the mountains of Southern California. Great in high winds, earthquakes, and all sorts of weather. We love it!

  4. Here's how to cut your electric bill up to 75%:

    Want to know how to easily produce all of the green energy you could ever want right at home?

    And you’ll be able to make your home totally immune from power failures, blackouts, and energy grid failures
    so even if everyone else in your area (or even the whole country) loses power - you won’t.


  5. Kristian- I am working on a short article about the dome home for a magazine. Would love to interview you! Can you please email me so we can set up a time to chat?

    -Katie Hendrick

  6. Hi Kristian - I'm working on a TV series that features Cape Romano. We'd like to talk to you about using some of your images of the Dome Houses in an episode. Please contact me and we can discuss.
    Jayme Holman

  7. where in Gatlinburg Tn is the prototype dome house located

  8. Hello Kristian
    I hope this message reaches you well.
    I am interested in some of the photos from your collection showing the fantastic Florida Dome Homes. I am asking as we are making an educational documentary series destined for the Discovery Network and I would love to talk a bit more about your photos.
    I hope to hear from you
    Best Wishes
    Charlie Scott

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  10. My mother's maiden name was Maples and she was from Alabama. Any connection known> Her father was George Ree Maples, Jr.

  11. Hello, Kristian-
    I'm working on a history piece about your grandparent's home and would love to chat with you if you have some time.
    Anne Reed
    freelance writer, Gulfshore Life Magazine

  12. Hello Kristian,

    Thank you for sharing this story. I am a native Floridan who loves Florida stories. I will add it to my list of places to visit.

  13. Hi Kristian, My name is Dell Jones and I was the person that did the design, supply of lighting/ refrigeration and installation of the solar systems for Bob's home. I remember making those trips out to the Cape and working with Bob on the solar electric and hot water systems. Dragging the steel case batteries from the dock to the house in the sand was indeed a heavy lift. I still live in Estero, FL and now work on large utility scale solar projects and occasionally small systems for friends and family. I am going to try to look through some old photos to see if I can find some from those days. Interesting to see how the home has garnered so much attention sadly for how it succumb to the changing beach line and not the sturdy off grid home it could have been. contact:

  14. Dear Mr. Maples,
    I’m Sara, an interior design student at Raffles Milano Institute of Fashion and Design.
    I’m writing to you because I would like to create a 3D model of your family vacation house, the Dome House, for an important school project.
    I found its architecture fascinating, and I would like to try to convey what your grandfather had thought and visioned for this house. I would like to ask for your support in this project, unfortunately no dimensional references can be found, may I ask you if you have any material about it that you can send me?

    Looking forward to your kind reply, I remain at your complete disposal.

    P.s. my contacts: