Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA IGLOO! Yes, Domed-Home Look Has a 'Wow' Factor, but You Won't Laugh at Physician's JEA Bill

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

FLORIDA IGLOO! Yes, Domed-Home Look Has a 'Wow' Factor, but You Won't Laugh at Physician's JEA Bill

Article excerpt

Byline: Beth Reese Cravey

Even as a child in the South Bronx, Harold Laski was a builder, using Erector sets and Lincoln Logs.

He grew up to become a physician, but retained his passion for construction and eventually narrowed his focus to a certain kind of home design.

The round kind.

His lastest project, a house that has been under construction for two years on Live Oak Drive off Atlantic Boulevard, has three buildings that together resemble a Mickey Mouse cap. Or an igloo.

"It may look a little crazy to some people on the outside," Laski said.

But look beyond the oddball shape - formally called domed, or geodesic - and there are hidden advantages. The power bill for the Live Oak Drive house will be 60 percent of the bill for a typical home, he said, and its design makes the house strong enough to take 250 mph sustained winds, and higher gusts.

Plus, it's cool.

"There is a 'wow' factor," he said.

Laski owns and works at Southside Medical Center, but his spare time and that of wife Carmen is consumed with their side passion for domed houses. The Live Oak Drive house, which is within a few months of completion, is their third. Their son lives in the first, they live in the second. Both are off Beach Boulevard.

Laski envisions a particular house in his head that Carmen translates into a 3D computer design. They do much of the construction work, assisted by a contractor.

The circular, open floor plan, Laski said, produces "a world within a world."

"I feel like I am communing with God," he said. "I don't feel like I'm enclosed. I love the feeling."

If Laski had his way, we'd all live in domed houses. But in reality, domed houses are few and far between in the Southeast U.S., according to David Reed, JEA's conservation and efficiency specialist.

"The shape in and of itself it not conducive to what most folks are used to, the square boxes. Furniture and floor layouts don't fit well," he said.

But Reed confirmed that the design is energy efficient - there is no air leakage or wasted space - and better able to withstand high winds.

In the 1950s, renowned inventor R. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.