Steve’s Thailand Dome - Tiny House Blog

Steve’s Thailand Dome

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.


Building costs in Thailand are inexpensive and if you want to learn more about how to build one of these dome homes, Hajjar Gibran’s retreat center, The Gibran Center at Miracle Springs, offers workshops on the farm. Other building projects have included a compressed earth brick press and an earth block dome. He’s also developing a system for building with cellular concrete. When Steve is away from his dome home, it’s also available as a rental for a small donation.







Photos by Steve Areen

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Walt Barrett - March 24, 2014 Reply

Beautiful Job!

Marykay - March 24, 2014 Reply

Stunning views…looks so peaceful.
I have always wondered how some people live such exciting lives and others end up with such mundane ones. You have clearly found paradise!

    Neato - March 24, 2014 Reply

    “I have always wondered how some people live such exciting lives and others end up with such mundane ones.”

    For the most part, Marykay, it’s all about the choices we make. Some people ignore the fear and doubt and shun the “system” and go different route. Some people do the same (and expected) thing so many others do: get a job, get married, acquire debt, have kids, wait for retirement.

      Tom Saecker - April 9, 2014 Reply

      For the most part, Marykay, it’s all about the choices we make. Some people ignore the fear and doubt and shun the “system” and go different route. Some people do the same (and expected) thing so many others do: get a job, get married, acquire debt, have kids, wait for retirement.

      Yes, its a lovely, and creative house. But lets put this into perspective. One can find “Paradise” the worst of mundane or “boring” circumstances, or lifestyles….when it gets into “a house’ being the cause of one’s happiness it gets quite delusional. A fantasy, mirage kind of projection. Its only a house, a place to
      live nor is it the cause of one’s freedom or peace of mind. If one is truly tree or happy that can happen equally in the most mundane or monotonous lifestyle equally within “the system” so it comes across as rather pretentious, arrogant….or snobby which to me is the equivalent of boredom.

    AnnieinKC - March 24, 2014 Reply

    LOL! MaryKay, I SO agree! Smiles, AnnieinKC

CHARLES TUKUGIZE - March 24, 2014 Reply

Great work i admire the same. if could do it in my area.

Otessa Regina Compton - March 24, 2014 Reply


Neato - March 24, 2014 Reply

At last, a “tiny home” that’s not just a shed, glorified, or otherwise.

This place is just awesome. I love the design, functionality and saffron/marigold/monk colors. I wonder how a design like this would hold up in the desert? Down there, a place like this would put one in mind of the structures shown in Star Wars on Luke Skywalker’s home planet. But insulated properly, I bet this basic design would be perfect.

I’ve been to Thailand a couples time but it’s been years. Seeing this makes me want to dump everything, head down there, and start learning to build like this. I’m going to save this particular post, just incase…

Maria - March 24, 2014 Reply

In two words: Exquisitely Beautiful!!

AnnieinKC - March 24, 2014 Reply

I LOVE this! I also like the simple stairs! I wonder if one could be built like a zeer pot? i.e., 1 clay pot inside the other, with the space between the 2, filled with sand, and some type of water collection/ drip system on top to keep the sand moist, but the inside living space would stay cool. Like a non-refrigerator refrigerator, so nice and cool in the summer. Smiles, AnnieinKC

Anne - March 24, 2014 Reply

I’ve seen pics of his home before, but always worth another look. Absolutely gorgeous!

Wendy - March 24, 2014 Reply

That is amazing. I’m ready to move in right now. Truly a beautiful design. I bet it even smells good!

Denny S Arfans - March 24, 2014 Reply

this is so beautiful. Just in first look, I fall in love with this dome house. Is it possible you let us know how to build? It will be very natural if I could build one in the village near the Rinjani volcano in west nusa tenggara in Indonesia.

B.W. - March 24, 2014 Reply

That is a very beautiful home; it’s so cozy.

gna - March 24, 2014 Reply

I love it…just paradise…wish I was there….Happy for you.. gna

Steve Auth - March 24, 2014 Reply

Fantastic creativity and skilled craftsmanship I certainly appreciate Steve you have gone full circle
Enjoy My hat is off to you gentlemen
Steve Auth

Paul - March 24, 2014 Reply

Totally wow!

Timothy - March 24, 2014 Reply

I love it

Whitworth Deen - March 24, 2014 Reply

Very beautiful the orange/salmon color of the structure against the tropical green. I previously lived and worked in Thailand 8 years. My comments/questions follow regarding the actual liveability of this house given Thailand’s tropical rainy season/hot season setting: 1. I recall how musty/moldy clothes and bed linens can get in the heavy rainy season without air-con/dehumidifiers. How do Mr. Areen’s house & its contents deal with the approx 5 month long rainy season? 2. Noted the wise use of insect screens. Are there screens for all the openings, including the front door? 3. Traditional Thai houses were built on stilts several feet off ground to avoid floods and snakes. How does Mr. Areen’s house handle these problems? I am not trying to be a kill-joy but am interested to learn how traditional hazards are handled by modern architecture.
Respectfully submitted,
Whitworth Deen

Donna - March 24, 2014 Reply

That is one of the most beautiful homes I have ever seen.

snr Adrian P. Castel - March 24, 2014 Reply

Not sure how a foreigner legally built a house in Thailand, but ok…

    Anne - March 25, 2014 Reply

    It is on Hajjar Gibran’s retreat, website is linked…

Zackem - March 25, 2014 Reply

Paradise found….! And being lived, I would say..!

Elaine - March 25, 2014 Reply

Steve will be speaking at the Tiny House Fair Oct. 12-14 in Texas:

Steve - March 25, 2014 Reply

What is a pivoting arm technique? Anyone know?



Sharon - March 25, 2014 Reply

Werkelijk te leuk, heel goed gedaan!

MsDawn Burton - March 26, 2014 Reply

This is MAGNIFICENT!!! BREATH TAKING! Wonderful Job! I want one!

Steve Pitchford - March 27, 2014 Reply

WOW!!! Steve, Truly amazing and we long for your lifestyle. I visited Thialand a couple times in ’69 when stationed in Japan -stayed in a beach cottage in Pattya. But speaking of dome ceilings, I have an interest there as well. I”m sure you know of the architect Hasan Fathy who is famed for his earthen domes; his apprentice, ms.Simone Swan lives in Big Bend area of west Texas where she has been building earthen homes and domes since the 1990’s.
She also formed the Adobe Alliance, If you know that part of Texas you know it’s a dusty desert totally the oposite of Thailand. I’m betting you could have a lot to share. If you want email me back and I’tt tell you about a father and son business in the Rocky Point beach in Mexico who build beautiful fired adobe low profile styledome ceilings some with elaborate design worked in.
Send more photos and dreams for us to look at and put it all into a book with color pictures.

Steve Pitch

Carrie - March 29, 2014 Reply

Utterly divine!!!!!
Although I don’t see fridg or bathroom; I LUV this place!!!

I hope you are not in the very troubled south of Thailand.
I was just looking at condos there; and decided that the south was not for me.
The ouside steps are perfect>>>I feel like we are viewing a work of art from a museum! BRAVO

Bonnie B. Gilliam - April 8, 2014 Reply

I am simply amazed with the beauty and practicality of your “litle house”. It seems like meditation and yoga-type activities would have to follow living in such a paradise. Please keep building and sharing your (art) work. Bonnie

Tom Saecker - April 9, 2014 Reply

…Im’ not trying to rain on the parade, bust the party or in any way criticize this, just would like to offer a point of view. It doesn’t matter how anyone chooses to live, … live in a cutsey, “Cinderella’s pumpkinesque exotic Oz in a foreign land….or a cliche “Trust fund bohemian liven’ the dream effect”….to each his own. But when “Tiny Houses” get overdone they become ostentatious ~ pretentious, and they take on the same aroma or “perfume” of the “McMansion syndrome” as the source of one’s happiness or freedom. The beauty of “Tiny Houses” is their humble simplicity and well thought designs that offer “Realness” in living.

Eugenia - February 20, 2015 Reply

Is it possible to rent this wonderful creative beautiful home? We were thinking to stop in Thailand for a few days in our way to photograph caves in Borneo. Thanks

Phalalo - January 3, 2016 Reply


I’m busy setting up an ecological park in Botswana, Africa. Can I kindly request to have you build a number of these for me to be used as Accomodation in my Eco Park. Kindly. I have left my email for a serious conversation. I really like the concept.


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