Photo: Desert Views Photography. Courtesy of The Agency.
Tatooine in Star Wars may not be real, but this dome home in Joshua Tree, California, certainly brings the spirit of the fictional planet to earth. Called Bonita Domes, the unique property recently hit the market for $1.3 million.
The home’s owner and builder, Lisa Starr, a holistic healer known as the drum medicine woman, began working on the compound in 2014. “She received training from CalEarth to build in the style of superadobe, a form of earthbag architecture developed by architect and CalEarth founder Nader Khalili,” Jeffrey Weiss, the home’s current owner, says. “She sold me the property during COVID in 2020.” Though Starr built multiple dome structures on the property, the main home spans two large social domes that each include two sleeping pods and a full bathroom. A kitchen and breakfast nook connect the two sides. Also on the two-acre lot is a pool, spa, meditation temple, outdoor kitchen, gazebo with a barbecue, and firepit.
Appearing a bit like soft mounds of earth, the unique architecture style involves stacking long adobe-filled fabric tubes on top of each other with barbed wire in between, which acts like mortar and holds the structure together. Because of its focus on local materials and little waste, superadobe architecture is celebrated as a sustainable and natural building technique. According to CalEarth, the method meets modern safety requirements and passes severe earthquake code tests in California. “The building process is intentionally simple, but the structural integrity of superadobe is the result of years of research,” the organization’s website reads.
Designed to exist in harmony with nature, there’s no shortage of stunning landscape to explore around the home. Adjacent to Joshua Tree National Park, the Sawtooth Mountains are just a quarter mile up the street. “You can walk into the park with trails right up the road,” Weiss says. The home is located inside the Panorama Heights neighborhood, which the owner describes as “posh” and says has more spaced-out lots, better privacy, and less intrusion. Weiss has mainly been using the property as an Airbnb, though he notes that it could serve as a primary residence should one want.
Bonita Domes is listed through Emory Orr and Ben Belack of The Agency. “The home feels as though you have been transported to another world of an ancient time, like the planet of Tatooine in Star Wars,” he adds. “Inside, the home is wonderfully insulated and feels quiet, intimate, and like a warm embrace.”
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest