Steve Areen, a world traveler who has been visiting remote locations around the world, decided to put down a few roots in northeast Thailand. These roots grew into one of the most beautiful dome homes you may ever see. This work of art (that only cost $9,000 to build) sits in the middle of a mango farm that belongs to Steve’s friend Hajjar Gibran.
Hajjar had already been building dome homes at his retreat center on the farm and taught Steve how to build this cement block and clay brick home that uses local materials and lets in light and fresh air. Hajjar’s son, Lao, helped build the home with his masonry skills and the dome was completed in just over six weeks. Steve added his own details with the handmade front door, pond, upstairs hammock platform and the stonework and landscaping. Some of the most beautiful features of this home is the shower/greenhouse from local river stones and the natural bamboo sink faucet.
The home’s large, round windows are screened against insects and act as curved seating areas, and when Steve heads off to travel again, he seals up the round windows with rat proof inserts. A handmade wooden staircase ascends to the roof where a steel rod and palm frond covered hammock platform offers fresh air and views, and screened skylights on the domes let in even more light. Continue Reading »
by Francis E.L. Watson
Twenty-five years ago I purchased an ocean cliffside lot in a sleepy little pacific coast Mexican fishing village. The Idea was to slooooowly build the way the village locals do – as you can afford it! A couple of years went by and I married a tropical woman. We decided to design and build a little tiny house on it. The first decade or so was spent slowly building a series of retaining rockwall terraces on the very steep hillside.
We began construction of The Bird House in 2000, and, finished the first incarnation 7 years later. It is built 70 meters above the ocean beach, straight up! In the photo the place looks huge, but in reality the main structure is only 5m x 6m and a 7.5m inside roof peak. Concrete, brick, stone and palma royal thatched roof construction. It is a ‘breathing’ house using two towers that act like morning and evening wind chimneys. No doors in the passageways, no glass or screen in the windows, only heat absorbing archways that bring in the outside without the tropical heat.
Off the electrical grid with multiple grey water fields that irraigate fruit orchards. Typhoon/storm bunker built into sw middle corner below outside living room. The place is set up for our annual journey south in our vintage motorhome, The Big Fish’. And that’s another story!