The Chrysalis

The construction of the hillside cottage began a year after the big plydome. After building large, I was quite at ease working with an 18ft. diameter structure. We assembled the plywood sheets almost completely before mounting the posts in what resembles a Tiffany setting. This little building is beautifully crafted, and was in my mind a prototype. The patterning is simple: all the sheets of plywood are drilled the same, and there are only two kinds of polycarbonate windows. Hardware is stainless steel machine screws for nearly everything.

Because the cottage is extremely light, the airborne design seemed appropriate. The 9 ft. diameter pods that extend from the larger sphere weigh only about 350 lb. The locust posts that provide foundation go 5 ft. into the clay and small rocks were packed into the postholes. A young couple moved into the cottage and named it Chrysalis. It is a primitive 3-season dwelling they lived in year round for perhaps three years. We installed a wood stove, they ran cold water in; there was never any insulation. The little green dome is the outhouse..

Building the Chrysalis - Stage by Stage

Created: February 2, 2001
Last Revised: February 28, 2006
Steve Miller, 2001