The Beautiful Tiny Earth Domes of Solscape


Introducing the Solscape Earth Domes. These beautiful natural buildings are each less than 10 square meters, and sit overlooking the ocean, amongst the beautiful hills of Raglan, New Zealand.


The Earth Domes were built using a technique called earth-bag construction, where sturdy sacks are filled with material such as rock, sand, and clay and then compacted down. The buildings each have a ferrocement roof and are finished off with a lime plaster.

Together, these two domes were constructed for less than $10,000 NZ dollars. That figure includes all costs such as transport of materials and even food for the team. A remarkably low-cost and yet still stunningly beautiful build.


Although they are currently used as accommodation at Solscape Eco Retreat, it’s easy to see how easily these could be turned into spectacular, permanent tiny and ultra affordable earth houses with mezzanine sleeping loft, kitchen, bathroom and lounge areas.

These natural, tiny homes are a wonderful example, not only of the beauty of natural building, but also the inherent power for us all to be able to affordably build our own homes, and create safe, non-toxic housing, in a way that is not harmful to the environment and actually helps to enhance the natural landscape.


7 Responses to The Beautiful Tiny Earth Domes of Solscape

  1. MJ Stark says:

    These are mind captivating!

  2. Diane-Nicole L. Hertzler says:

    Can this be built in the eastern Mid Atlantic states? Weather can be humid here.

  3. I think I’d like them better if they were washed in lime and were sparkling white on the inside.

  4. Cedar says:

    Beautiful! I can imagine building several nearby for personal, kitchen and communal spaces. If I were building again, this would be a model I would certainly consider. Thank you.

  5. Peter Wachira says:

    How does it compare to using trailers in terms if cost

  6. I had the privilege of designing and building these domes back in 2009 – 2010.
    Since the bulk of the materials consist of clay and sand, the material cost was a fraction of a conventional build. Here’s a rough breakdown. (I don’t have exact numbers)

    Cost of both domes:
    – $9k Materials
    – $4k My design/build fee (normally $10K – $20k)
    – $2k Feeding the volunteers

    Cost of New Zealand Tiny House:
    – $10k trailer base
    – $30k -$60k total

    I’ve been creating beautiful, low cost building systems for a debt-free life. These domes were my first project in New Zealand.

    Check out recent projects at:

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