Chundleigh's first spherical cottage was cold-molded from wood veneer and penetrating epoxy using a technique developed for boatbuilding. For later versions he switched to conventional fiberglass-and-resin construction, saving "about a man-year" of labor per sphere, he says.
Chundleigh's first spherical cottage was cold-molded from wood veneer and penetrating epoxy using a technique developed for boatbuilding. For later versions he switched to conventional fiberglass-and-resin construction, saving "about a man-year" of labor per sphere, he says.

Spherical buildings present some obvious practical challenges. But because a sphere provides the largest possible interior volume per unit of surface area, the form has long fascinated designers and architects, and quite a few reasonably successful spherical structures have actually been built. Most - like the geodesic domes pioneered by Buckminster Fuller in the mid-20th century - simply approximate a spherical shape with a network of flat triangles. But Canadian builder Tom Chundleigh has chosen to take the high road: The guest cabins at his Vancouver Island, British Columbia, eco-resort are true, geometrically perfect spheres.

A circular plywood floor prevents the interior's contents from slumping into a heap in the sphere's rounded bottom, while a corresponding ceiling creates a shallow, bowl-shaped "attic." The two circular side windows are formed from acrylic to match the curvature of the exterior shell and are hung on custom hardware - though not until...

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