This vacation house, a cocoon nestled in a birch forest on the edge of a small cliff in Scotland, is visible only from the sea. Outside its own dome membrane are scenic views of the Sound of Lorne and Castle Stalker, made famous by Monty Python and the Holy Grail — views best appreciated from the outdoor spa. Indoors, “you feel as though you’re really part of the environment rather than imposing on your environment,” says homeowner Jim Milligan. “It’s like the dome has been there forever, just like the trees.”
The homeowners open their dome to vacationers who need a taste of their “glamping” (glam camping) encounter too.
at a Glance
A vacation home for: Jim Milligan and Nicola Meekin
Location: Oban, Scotland
Size: 807 square feet
That is intriguing: The dome overlooks the famous Castle Stalker, more commonly known as “Castle Aaargh” at Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
The structure is held together with steel struts along with one membrane of recycled PVC which has an average life span of 25 years.
Ceiling fans and windows make sure that the dome is cool at all times, particularly easy in these pieces of temperate western Scotland. Most of the membrane’s parts have a clear finish and are UV resistant.
The freestanding kitchen is anchored by modular pieces: a low-energy pyrolitic oven that is flush on the laminate surface, a chopping board and a sink. There is even room for a small oven, a dish rack and cabinets. Every week, groceries are delivered to the site.
The homeowners are creative with kitchen storage A overhead pan rack gets rid of the need for below-counter cabinet space, along with a small mobile island can be wheeled around to match their needs. A pair of pendant lights adds interest and task light into this modular kitchen in case the natural light coming in from the transparent areas of the dome fixtures and windows is not enough.
The homeowners love classic midcentury modern layout — buying high quality iconic pieces is their way of remaining green. “We buy decor that will last a lifetime. We hunted a number of the best furniture made this century, and they sit in the pods, with guests appreciating their quality as well as beauty,” says Milligan.
This window looks directly out to islands in the southwest, which means that you may watch bad weather approaching 20 minutes before it really hits the region. “Among the things which make the pods unique is the idea of being protected regardless of what the weather. You only get a sense of calm inside the dome even if it’s storming out,” says Milligan.
Milligan and Meekin sometimes prefer to lounge at the cedar soaking bathtub, watching the eagles fish or the geese migrate south.
Connected: Wipe Up Nature With Outdoor Baths
Each of the curved cedar sheets utilized across the dome were sourced from the local woods, which are part of the Forest Stewardship Council. Spring water is warmed by an exterior water boiler, as well as the water is sourced from a spring.
The separate shower stall, terry-cloth bathrobes and fresh towels increase the glam factor and assure that no one remaining there actually must “rough it.”
Connected: Guest Groups: Glam Your Camping
The homeowners are aware that the dome is a temporary structure, and it has been their assignment to float lightly on the ground they inhabit and also to honor the dome’s natural environment. “We want to prove to ourselves that people can leave the site using minimal footprint,” says Milligan.