Nestled in the picturesque farmland outside of Vienna, Austria, sits the magnificent 29’ Cosmos Ekodome. It’s a sanctuary of peace and contentment for violin playing and stargazing.
This project was created by Mikael and Thomas, who chose the frame-only Ekodome kit because they wanted the freedom to design their panels over time and create a unique structure that would compliment the beautiful scenery.
Here’s a brief interview with them about their 29’ Cosmos Ekodome project.
To begin, could you please tell us about what you’ve accomplished with your Ekodome?
We bought a piece of land outside of Vienna. It’s farmland, so it’s not really possible to build anything on it except a small cottage or something flexible. We’ve created a hub of peace and contentment on the pond for Thomas to spend his spare time working on the land, playing his violin and watching the stars at night.
Would you please describe your previous experience with designing and building projects like this one?
I don’t really have previous experience with projects like this. Except for greenhouses or wintergarden gas-steel-constructions. This is the first space I have created like this.
Can you share the backstory of your Ekodome project?
We started by trying to get permission to put a cottage on the farmland, which was not really possible. So, we explored tiny-houses made out of wood with garage-doors, simple windows that were easy to build and rebuild if necessary. It turned out to be very expensive and quite complicated.
We did research on shipping-containers, but those are too industrial for the site and also not really sexy if you want to interact with the nature around you. Somewhere along the way, Buckminster Fuller turned up, and we started to look at geodesic domes.
Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to use a dome?
No, not at all! I was doing research about Backminster Fuller on Youtube and came across dome-constructions. Mostly very simple ones where you have an easy construction with steel-pipes and a foil to cover it. Not really what we were looking for.
How did you find Ekodome and why did you choose it
Somewhere along during my research, I came across the Ekodome, and I was convinced that if it would be a dome, it should be an Ekodome. The construction convinced me, and the outlook of the dome seemed to be like a real dome or a sphere; it just looks fantastic! I presented it to Thomas, and he was immediately on track.
What was your build experience like?
We had close contact with Sinan to support us and a Steel-constructor Gama and Dominik Majewski to help us with all the construction work. I designed the bottom space to be off ground and flexible.
The supporting structure for the bottom is a rolled steel beam put on concrete foundations. The floor is made of wooden floorboards with insulation underneath. The rolled steel beam has the exact measurement of the base of the dome, so it fits perfectly on it, a little bit off the ground to protect it from the wet.
The construction of the aluminum frames went well, but unfortunately we had some problems with the polycarbonate covers, which we ordered from a third party in Vienna. After several attempts to get the construction waterproof, we finally had to seal it off with silicon.
Would you do it again the same way?
In principle, the decision to get the floor-construction off the ground was good, and I think most of it I would do the same way again.
How do you feel about the dome now?
Most important is that Thomas loves his dome and spends every free time in it!
It has become his paradise! For me, it’s great to see that our experiment is working and has potential to develop.
Would you buy another one?
Yes, I would. For the right person, it’s a fantastic experience!
What would you like people to know about your project that you haven’t already shared?
You have to have an open mind and be willing to develop something. A dome is not a finished project from the beginning; you have to develop it over some time, maybe some years. The most interesting thing about the project is that you can use it for so many different things.
What is your next project?
Something totally different! A housing project in the city with 35 apartments.
Photos courtesy of Mikael Walles