Street View

Could the Solution to Homelessness Be Geodesic?

Dome sweet dome.

By James Ross Gardner July 14, 2017 Published in the August 2017 issue of Seattle Met

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Rich Batcheller’s geodesic dome takes just two hours to assemble. Inside: 10 feet of headroom and an 18-foot diameter of dwelling space.

Rich Batcheller dreamed of building one since he was a kid. Hexagons upon pentagons upon trapezoids, compressed to form a dome. A design engineer—the Nike expat founded Blackmouth Design on Bainbridge Island—Batcheller returned to that dream as an adult. He believes his geodesic dome, pictured here at Fay Bainbridge Park, is a model for low-impact, temporary housing for the homeless, and he plans on presenting his idea to the City of Seattle. Shortly after he and his team constructed the dome, Batcheller, his wife, two kids, and another family of four—plus a greyhound—spent the night inside, on hammocks, for a test run. The experience surprised even Batcheller, who’s convinced that being without a permanent home doesn’t mean you should have to kiss spacious shelter and comfort goodbye.

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