ABOUT THE PROJECT
Hi, I am Katrin from Vienna, Austria. After visiting Montezuma many times, and falling in love with this little paradise, I finally moved here in 2017.
I love the laid back life here and connecting to nature every day. The rivers and waterfalls, beaches, jungle, going fishing, and eating fresh fruits. I am also a painter and make natural soaps from coconut oil.
A little while ago some of my guests made this great video about the dome, the project, along with interviewing me:
The Story Behind the Dome House
A few years ago I decided to build a dome house. But not just a regular dome... I wanted it to be something extraordinary, unique, and stunning. Something magical that takes your breath away.
No one here knew about the material I wanted to use or how to construct a dome, let alone three connected ones. I remember first meeting my contractor, with his muddy work boots and leather hat and being taken by his personality and humor right away. When I told him about my project he laughed and told me I was a little crazy. But he was also curious about the idea and agreed to help me. My architect friend went off to a workshop to learn about this building technique, so he could teach me and my workers.
We made all blocks for the domes ourselves, using a special 'aircrete' mix of concrete and foam from dish washing detergent, and handcrafted molds. I bought the town’s whole stock of dish washing detergent to make the foam and inject it into the concrete mix. Getting the foam density right was one of the most tricky parts, so there was lots of foam weighting, mixing, blocks collapsing, and molds leaking. But eventually we got there and set out to make the 1200 blocks needed for the construction.
I started most days with the workers at six in the morning and often worked alongside them on the construction. We faced many challenges but the guys impressed me with the creative ideas they came up with to improve processes. My heart always jumps a little when I think about them. They were so dedicated to the project and worked incredibly hard. They didn't just build a house, they made magic happen.
Things took longer than expected, I spent more money than budgeted, and worked harder than I had thought. But I enjoyed it very much. We were creating something outstanding and word spread in town about the strange Star Wars domes being built uphill. Many people approached me and were curious to check out the construction. Those domes definitely earned me a lot of attention, respect, and admiration in the community.
I really enjoyed coming up with design elements and artwork for the house. I did a lot myself but I am also happy that some friends contributed with beautiful artwork - paintings, welded iron doors and windows, and my beyond awesome roof that opens up to gaze at the stars at night - directly from bed.
And now we’re done! I feel proud, happy and still cannot believe what a stunning place we’ve created. Come visit me and stay at this unique vacation rental!
Are you considering building your own aircrete dome?
I offer one-hour Zoom calls in which I share my experience, tell you all about the process, materials used, budget, challenges faced, building permits, as well as tips how to approach your project.
The cost is 60 USD. If this sounds interesting to you, please send me a message and we can organize the details.