They look a bit like a small planet, and interestingly the first Geodesic dome ever built was in Germany after WW1 for an engineer to house his planetarium projector. In 1975 someone also built one at the South Pole - these structures have great resistance to both snow and wind, and for the owners of Glen Dene Station at Lake Hawea, this was important for them as well.
Richard and Sarah Burdon have been hosting hunters at their Cross Hill Lodge since 1971, and in early 2020 they contracted Breen Construction to build six premium glamping domes for their clients.
“Sarah and I, who have worked with Breen before, were keen to utilise them again because we had a good experience, and once again they provided a great service and experience for us through a very challenging time, with border closure issues and building supplies being difficult to source, as well as compliance issues related to the building industry.
“The team of boys led by Hemi and Project Manager John Timu, were fantastic and our weekly Zoom meeting was great for all of us - this kept the project on time and to schedule, and us well informed during each stage.”
An extra large recreational dome was also built for both hunters campers at the nearby Camp, Lake Hawea - which the Burdons also own.
‘The Beehive’ is an activity and events dome with a 6.7-metre-high ceiling and 120 sq m floor space, which has unique acoustic qualities, perfect for corporate retreats, wellness get togethers, weddings and private events. The entire development was completed at the end of 2020, following lockdown, offering a unique premium accommodation experience, mixing high country hospitality in a remote, peaceful setting.
Pacific Domes in America supplied the materials, which came complete with an instruction manual and video, and Breen Wanaka Foreman Hemi Karamaena said from there it was just one gigantic jigsaw puzzle to work out.
“It was like camping with a tent that you have never put up before.” Project Manager John Timu said.
Featuring underfloor heated large tiled showers, bay windows with world-class views of the surrounding forest and mountains, gas fires and finished with their own entrance and deck, these domes are not just your ‘run-of-the-mill’ glamping accommodation.
John said while glamping was becoming very popular in New Zealand and overseas, the standard of these new Geodesic domes takes it to the next level, in terms of the quality of the accommodation.
Richard and Sarah stayed in the same Geodesic domes during a trip to the Highlands of Tanzania and were sold on the concept there and then. Sarah told us, “we thought they were amazing, relatively simple and connected people with the outside even though they were sheltered inside.
“It's important to be able to walk around the whole dome to get that feeling of being in a circle with no corners and that is why the bathroom is in the middle of the room. It also means that one person can get out of bed, go to the bathroom, and get changed without disturbing the other person, apart from providing a cup of tea in the super king size bed to watch the view,” she said.
The design elements and materials also make the domes more environmentally friendly than other buildings, and more energy efficient for heating. Along with the physical elements there are also cosmic connections to consider when you stay in one of these domes. Each one generates its own conscious field which supports the evolution of the soul. This ancient science is called Vaastu.
A night’s sleep in a Geo dome involves many experiences including being able to look up at the night sky, the curvature of the angles, a cocooned feeling and nature almost at your fingertips.
Have a look at here for the finished product and for bookings, and also check out this video.
Clients: Cross Hill Lodge (Glen Dene Station)
Project Manager: John Timu
Foreman: Hemi Karamaena
Builders: Michael Bennett, Angus Ryder, Jeremy Presbury, Sam McKonnell, James Pascoe, Martin Imhoff, Stef Panko, Blair Tweed, Andrew Read, Russell Binns.
Photography: Remarkables Media