Opened in 1972 and designed by a contractor, the Domes were a pioneering low-cost student cooperative, albeit one built of artificial materials. Unlike geodesic domes, a period archetype, the fiberglass shells of these dorms were cast in one piece and then lowered by crane onto a concrete pad with prefabricated plumbing. They were meant as bulbous and iconoclastic expressions of the times, intended to inspire personal growth and an eco-friendly, grow-your-own commitment to the land.
The spirit lives on in today’s Domies, some with nose jewelry, who plant almond trees, roast chicken, make acorn flour and walk barefoot through the mulch. “The hippie movement fell through,” Douglas Doria, a senior human development major, observed over a potluck dinner announced by the ting of a metal triangle. “But there are still people wanting something outside the norm.”
Web site of the domes is here.