Geodesic dome results in unique New Milford home
Published 3:42 pm, Wednesday, October 11, 2017
NEW MILFORD — During his career, Bob Castonguay built apartments and senior housing. When it came time to build his own home, he went for a geodesic dome.
“I got so tired of building square boxes, I said ‘I’m going to build a house that’s anything but a square box,’” he said.
The geodesic dome is made up of triangular pieces that create a spherical shape, resulting in a myriad of interesting angles throughout the exterior and interior of the home at 35 Sawyer Hill Road.
“It’s a dome, but it doesn’t feel like a dome when you’re inside,” said Marisa Dumas, the listing agent. “It’s nice to see something different.”
Castonguay got the idea for the design while at the 1982 World’s Fair in Tennessee. He visited the geodesic dome several times, trying to figure out how to adapt the design for a house.
Geodesic domes were popularized by inventor and architect R. Buckminster Fuller, in the mid-1900s, though Walther Bauersfeld is credited with building the first one — his planetarium — just after World War I.
The triangles that make up a geodesic home distribute the structural stress throughout the design, which results in a building able to withstand heavy loads. A popular example of a geodesic dome is Spaceship Earth at Epcot in Disney World.
Castonguay said the design allows for the air to circulate on its own and contributes to the house’s energy efficiency.
Once the design was determined, the Castonguays set about finding the perfect piece of property.
“I wanted the house to be situated in a way that the house wasn’t below you, it was above you,” he said.
The house sits on nearly three acres, which include natural rock formations, giving the family space to plant flowers and grow vegetables. The property has wood and metal workshops, a garage and a small greenhouse.
“You can get away from it all and relax and commune with nature,” Dumas said, adding the house is great for entertaining.
A balcony wraps around the house and space for outdoor tables exists.
The lower level includes an office, an activity room where a wood-paneled wall slides to reveal storage and a combined craft and laundry room. A beehive oven is next to the front door.
“It’s cozy, but you don’t feel crowded because of the high ceilings,” Dumas said.
The main level has an open design for the kitchen, living area and dining room. The master bedroom, complete with walk-in closets and a master bath, is located off to the side on the main floor. Castonguay said he enjoys the open concept on that level.
“One of the things we really like about it is if my wife is in the kitchen, she can still be a part of what’s going on in here,” he said from the living room, which features paintings of his father’s farm and a lighthouse.
The property is on the market for $369,000.