Who hasn’t wished they could be a competitor as they watch “The Crystal Maze,” the Channel 4 UK TV show that ran from 1990-1995 and is fun, frantic, and involves being in a giant glass geodesic dome at the end, chasing after silver and gold tokens. Well, we can’t all get to do that — though some of us may get to visit the traveling Crystal Maze game show experience, now based in London but moving to Manchester, UK in spring 2017.
While you may never take part in the game show, there are a couple of worthy alternatives. Why not build a glass geodesic dome in your garden? Or even better, get the experts to build you a bigger version?
From the 12-foot diameter self-build Garden Igloo that (allegedly) takes two people about two hours to erect, to the architect-designed Solardome, 20 feet wide and chock full of attitude, you can have your very own mini (or not-so-mini) garden dome.
Weatherproof and rust proof all year round, the German-designed Garden Igloo is a great greenhouse, kid’s playhouse, work shed or exterior conservatory. There’s an all-round view, and it’s the perfect way to take the inside outside. It’s warm in the summer and can withstand temperatures of between 20 degrees Celsius to 60 degrees Celsius, and if that’s just too hot, it has ventilation vents. When the weather turns, it’s wind proof up to 31 miles per hour and has a snow load capacity of about 90 pounds — or 15 centimeters in depth.
The geodesic shape of the Garden Igloo promotes uniform temperature, optimum airflow and maximum solar power. Sit in it, tend your plants, look outside at your garden — summer or winter, it’s a relaxing and groovy retreat. It also comes with an optional canvas cover so that you don’t boil in warm weather. That’s a lot of cool kit for around $800 — and it’s mobile if you decide to move or just to put it somewhere else on your current space.
If you’re interested in a more permanent solution to your craving for a personal crystal garden dome, then the Solardome may just be it. A pioneer in the making of aluminum geodesic domes for the UK and abroad, Solardome is big, with a standard 20-foot diameter, though it can be bigger if you want a more customized version, and it can be used as an outdoor classroom, as a jacuzzi cover, as a glasshouse: you decide.
The Solardome has also appeared on ITV 1’s “‘Love Your Garden” with renowned TV gardener Alan Titchmarch. It starts at £7680k, though depending on your individual requirements, the cost and size can get a whole lot bigger.
One big benefit of these crystalline garden igloos? Many of them work great with passive solar building design, distributing solar energy in the form of heat in the winter and dispelling it in the summer without the need for additional mechanical or electrical climate control systems. They can even make the Arctic Circle a warm and cozy place to grow crops and raise a family, when they’re built with care.