So like the rest of you, I'm distracting myself from worst-case COVID-19 scenarios. My latest mental escape of choice is looking at photos of dome houses, which look cool as hell.
Well, of course they always look good in photos--a professional photographer could've made my first Brooklyn apartment look good. But when I start looking at floorplans of round houses, I'm thinking that living in them would actually suck.
In these panicked times, there is no room for nuance, grey area or anything but total allegiance to one of two extreme viewpoints. You must decide whether living in a circle would be Awesome or would Totally Suck. Here is a sampling of floorplans to help you decide.
- Visual discord as a result of trying to reconcile rectilinear furniture with curved walls, and/or weird trapezoid-shaped rooms
- Wasted space where rectilinear furniture meets curved surface
- Can pay for built-in furniture to meet curves, but that gets pricey
- DIY'ing built-in furniture to meet curves will require tons of scribing and difficult-to-nail curve cutting
- Unusable space where walls meet floor at weird angle
It looks like you have to build a big-ass circle, one so large in footprint that you essentially flatten the curve (sorry to use that phrase) of the wall, before the issue of rectilinear furniture in a curved space starts to go away.
- Round shapes better disperse hurricane-force winds
- More efficient to heat if you have a central fireplace
- Your house will become a landmark used by neighbors giving directions ("You're gonna pass this weird round house, then take the next left")
Anyways, your verdict: Yea or Nay?
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I want to see photos of builds of some of those floor plans with the central courtyards!
I've talked to someone who lives in a roundhouse (Fuller dome) and the curved furniture does make it not worth doing. They have built-in countertops (out from the center) but sticking furniture up against the wall is a daily annoyance.
My idea of how to get around this was simply to use a polygon instead of a circle. Studs are typically spaced 16" (.4 metre) apart, 24" (.6 metre) also happens.
I wonder if you could get a significant part of the benefits of curvature (mainly = removing the extremely sharp 90-degree angle as it impacts vision and movement) making e.g. 10-degree bends every 3 metres (6 studs).
If you want a nice long table up against the wall, it should be at least 2 metres, this is a full reach out with both hands.
Bookshelves and storage cubes, similar. IKEA's largest KALLAX is 62" (1.6 metres).
Moving around spaces that feel spacious, the 2-metre measurement seems like an important one to me. Can two people pass each other comfortably (without turning sideways)? That might necessitate two wingspans in a kitchen. Conversely, can the cook get from the counter to the island in one step? A step is about a metre (half a wingspan).
Ever since I first considered moving to Florida I grappled with the concept of designing a dwelling which would not only be resilient to the common problems of environmental degradation as well as critter and insect attacks, but also resilient to the extreme weather conditions Florida has to offer.
It depends on how you define 'round'. Igloos are dome-shaped. Yurts have a round footprint but vertical walls and a central peak. Of course you could ask the people at Deltec Homes: https://www.deltechomes.com/ or Mandala Design: https://www.mandalahomes.com/
If it looks like Living with the Lands, that would be awsome. https://www.farmflavor.com/florida/walt-disney-world-farm-grows-magical-produce-earth/
It would be fun to *STAY* in one (short term AirBNB for instance). It would suck to *LIVE* in one. While some of the floor plans are intriguing, it's just not an efficient design for living in.
It would be awful, because it does the opposite of what an airy, high-ceiling evokes. Even if you had a 12 foot ceiling but it’s rounded, the “collapsing” effect makes it feel like a seven foot ceiling.