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portal to the dome

On May 23, 2008

Hi Bob

I’m looking forward to buying a bubble dome 18 for use in Southern California.

Is there a technique you might recommend for setting up a (semi?) permanent entry to the dome from a house? I’d like to be able to link a doorway (not built yet, any shape is possible) from the back porch to the dome so I could walk right into the dome from the porch, without opening up anything — just having a “hallway” or portal to the dome. I don’t mind spending a bit on materials, but I’d like to end up with something reasonably weatherproof.

Could a second identical dome be linked to the first one I get fairly easily? If I plan to do that, is it possible to get one with two doorways? (One doorway to the porch, one to the second dome)

I see some curves (folds?) on 4 of the rectangular panels in the 20′ bubble dome pictured. Are these a required part of the dome, or some option of the purchaser?

I’m aware that the bubble dome is not so stable, so I plan to surround it with piers and lines — we do occasionally get some wind here.



Hi Nick

See our online manual: The following is extracted:

This or a modification of this approach may work to create a water shedding connection for you. Our domes flex in the wind, so create some slack to avoid stressing the connection.

Instructions for Attaching a Door to Door Connection Strip

Parts: Strip 3′ by 16′ for 18′ dome or yurt, 8 Grip Clips, 8 clip cords. ( you will need a longer strip if you use the tall door say: 27′) This strip when attached properly will join two dome doors tightly and create a gutter between them that redirects water to the base outside the domes.

On a windless day set up two domes next to each other such that two doors are facing each other. Roll up and tuck the two door coverings over the poles at the top of the doors. Move the domes together so that the base of the door openings touch each other. Follow carefully the instructions in you manual to secure your dome to the ground using all means necessary.

1) Knot end of each cord. Feed the un-knotted end of the cords through the concave side of each the “button” ends of the clips. Using the Clipping Instructions at the end of your manual attach two clips to the center end of the connection strip about 8″from the end, such that these clips are about 4″ from each other.

2) Enter one of the domes and lay out your connection strip under the two door openings so that the button clip cords are to one side and centered in the door ways. The cords should be facing up and close to one of the sides of the openings.

3) Slip and tie tight one of the connector clip cords through the clip hole at the base and inside the doing closet to that clip. Repeat this with the other button clip cords inside the other dome. You will now have join these two domes together with the connecter strip.Dome Tie Tool

4) Keeping the connector strip centered and tight apply two clips to the connector strip so that the button cord is on the same side of the strip as the first two clips and such that when these two clips are tied to the inside upper clips of the two, they pull the connector strip tight and centered. You may need to remove and reposition these two clips to get the connector strip tight, centered and even.

5) Next proceed to do the same for the next two door way clips. Keep the strip centered and tight.

6) Finely, secure the remaining two base clips. The connection strip should now be secured tight to the walls inside both domes creating an air closure and water tight connection.

7) You may carefully trim excess material from the strip.

8) If your soil does not drain well then make a ditch around your dome to direct water away from the domes.

9) If you need to make more connection strips you can remove the one you have fitted and use it as a pattern to make other strips.

It is possible to get a bubble dome with two doors but this will weaken the dome. As you note the bubble dome 20 is already weakened by the fact that it is higher in the wind and has a smaller base than the dome. If you are at all concerned about the wind consider using our standard 18 or 30′ domes, which are our strongest domes.

Bob Gillis