Mickey Muennig built this glass domed hut to serve as temporary accommodation during the construction of a main house in 1975 and still found himself living there 18 years later. The Green House has a 16 foot diameter and features natural stone walls with a glass teepee roof which was part of an experiment in exploiting passive solar heating for a sustainable dwelling. The above photograph of the hut is from Handmade Houses: A Century of Earth-Friendly Home Design by Rizzoli which explores the history of ecological architecture.
There’s something simultaneously primitive and futuristic about the glass domed dwelling. The round shape of the singular room coupled with the stone walls and fire makes this feel like a hut of our ancient ancestors, while the angular glass roof and emphasis on sustainable living makes this 70s house seem cutting edge – bordering on utopian.
There being nothing to improve on in the surroundings, the tendency is to set about improving oneself.Henry Miller
Indeed the glass roof did prove to be a highly effective way of heating this small dwelling and a vent at the top had to be included to prevent the Greenhouse from over heating. A fire provides a source of heat during the winter months and the bed is suspended from the ceiling in the centre to take advantage of the warm air that has risen.
Mickey Muennig made his name building these kind of unorthodox residences all along the Big Sur coastline of California. Here’s a great article about Meunnig which I drew upon while documenting this glass domed hut. It details Mickey Muennig’s experiences of building houses in the idyllic setting of Big Sur and of pioneering the movement of eco-architecture on the 30 acre plot of land he bought after first visiting the region.
Straight lines are a cop outMickey Muennig
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