Let there be light

It is now being said that architecture should be as much about sensation as it is aesthetics. However plush and luxurious your surroundings may be, most of us spend about 90% of our time indoors with limited exposure to daylight. Add in the demands of modern life and it is easy to see why we feel increasingly cut off from the natural world. Imagine having your own tranquil bubble where you can reconnect; a haven which is calm, airy and bathed in light, yet warm and protected from the wind and rain.

Solardome’s spherical glasshouses are changing the way people live, work and relax throughout the world. Their design concept is simple; a precision-made structure which is lightweight yet incredibly strong and makes you feel like you’re outside, seamlessly connecting with nature.

A private paradise

Each dome has a unique identity. You might use yours as a restorative space in which to wind down in your hot tub, as a yoga retreat, personal gym, or as a studio to paint or make music. Entertain your guests in style or use it as a cool den where the children hangout and stargaze. Perhaps you’ll create an Eden-inspired paradise where tropical plants thrive or a private office with panoramic views to inspire you. Maybe you crave a haven where you can simply kick back and relax with your thoughts and a glass of something after a hectic day. Lights twinkling off the glass panes create an enchanting effect, and you can even install a wood burner for the cosiest of retreats. The beauty is you can use your dome come rain or shine, which means there’s no need to cancel your alfresco dinner if the weather takes a turn for the worse.

Solardome’s customers say owning a dome has had a dramatic effect on how they live. Some had been looking for an outdoor structure; others didn’t know they needed a dome until they saw one, and all of them use their dome in a distinct way. Carol Nixon from Wales explains: “My dome is a world in itself. If the rest of the garden was abandoned it would provide gardening and leisure on its own.” Peter Lynch, owner of the Hilton Court Gardens in Wales, says his visitors adore the dome’s ambience: “It ensures natural daylight and warmth all year round, creating a restorative environment even on the coldest of days. You imagine yourself being in a tropical paradise.” Jude Green from Oxford notes that she opted for a Solardome because it’s the best: “No other manufacturer can match the quality and design perfection,” she says.

And speaking from a climate which is often cloudy and unsettled, Audrey Calvert from Northern Ireland comments that her dome enables family and guests to enjoy being outside even when it’s cold: “Our Solardome is a free-standing, statement-making structure that has been enjoyed by all. You really do have to experience one to delight in how warm, calm and inviting they are and then imagine all the possible uses in your own garden.”

A thing of beauty

Solardome Industries has been pioneering the development of these structures since 1995 and is the design genius behind the Crystal Dome, which stars on cult television show, the Crystal Maze. Its collection of five glasshouse domes, which range in size from 3.62m to 10m in diameter, has been complemented by the recent addition of larger architectural dome buildings (7.2m to 25m diameter) which can be heated and lit to building regulations. So far these ‘PRO’ domes have been used to cover a self-sufficient nature house in Norway, as a school rooftop laboratory to bring science alive, and as a skylight for a wellbeing centre in Austria. As well as giving private gardens a luxury feel, Solardome glasshouses are now well established in the education and commercial markets, and there are over 100 domes in schools, visitor attractions, community gardens, hotels and leisure facilities, and healthcare settings. A Solardome glasshouse was the centrepiece of a gold medal winning garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and they have featured on many popular design and gardening television programmes.

Solardome’s team builds each dome to order using the highest quality and eco-friendly materials, and everyone is guaranteed to last at least 10 years with almost no maintenance. They’re quick and easy to build and need only a simple base. They’re customisable too, which means they can be free-standing or connected to the house, have link tunnels or porches and they come in a range of colours. Most don’t need planning permission and can be ready in as little as eight weeks. Solardome has three display domes at its showroom in Southampton and can also arrange viewings of domes in its customers’ gardens. The company can manage all stages of your dome project; from providing creative concepts showing how it will look in your garden, to installing the final product.

Dome convert Chris Walters enthuses: “The dome is a joy. Morning coffee with the papers is a delight, and evening drinks with tea-lights twinkling is truly magical. But most interesting is the reaction of others. Some of our guests are taken with the ambience; some with the mechanics of its geometry. My favourite reaction was that of my brother-in-law who said, ‘it is a thing of beauty’. And he’s right, it is.”

You may not have known you need a Solardome until now, but with life so hectic, don’t you deserve to step into another world?

Further information