Geodesic Dome Garage Addition

Peaks Island, Maine
2001
Photography: Winkelman
Builder: Bill Bunton
Whitten Architects project: Winkelman lead

Existing island geodesic dome needed an attached garage and 'front door / everyday door', with studio space over. In the context of the existing form, the conundrum of how to mass the addition was solved by borrowing a page from the dome itself.

Domes, by their nature, break the conventional rules of what is a wall and what is a roof; the same system rolls from vertical to low slope and is surfaced entirely with asphalt shingles. With the rules already broken, we massed the garage as an ambivalent shape regarding what might be understood as walls vs roofs (the walls 'batter', leaning either inward or outward), and are covered by asphalt shingles (roofing). The roof has no traditional trim, just folds down to the 'battered' walls.

The final shape of the garage was a sculptural response to the dome: to be subordinate to it, leaning toward it as if the dome had a magnetic pull. With this now a sculpted form, scooping out a recess for entry and garage doors was natural. A unique solution to a unique problem.