This house moves but it doesn’t have wheels. Despite its spaceship-like appearance, it doesn’t fly, either. Instead, it uses a motor to spin 180 degrees. And that rotation helps cut its energy use by 36 percent.
Even non-rotating domes are naturally energy efficient because of their unobstructed airflow and reduced exposure to extreme weather conditions owing to their reduced surface area, according to the Buckminster Fuller Institute. But this New Paltz, New York dome takes things a step farther by rotating to let the large windows soak up the sun in the winter and turn away from the heat in summer.
Since the process only takes five minutes and involves the energy equivalent of running a vacuum, you can do it daily. As you turn, you get views of 28 acres of forest near the Mohonk Preserve. If you fancy the idea of sitting around a house that comes with its own remote control, it can be yours for $950,000.
French company Solaleya designs Domespace homes. Patrick Marsilli built the first one in 1988. The homes’ axis beams balance on hundreds of ball bearings, and he decided it was easier to move the dome than the worker who were building it. A buyer witnessed the process and decided to make the rotation a permanent feature, according to The New York Times. Shiva Vencat loved the idea of a house that spins and had his Domespace shipped to New York 15 years ago. The kit cost about $250,000, while the land and interior work combined cost about twice that.
Domespace homes have a few more attractive features: Their shape make them earthquake and hurricane resistant. And inside, the house has three bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms spread out over two levels.
If you don’t have nearly a million dollars but still want to check out the dome home in person, the Vencats will rent it to you for $325 a night on Airbnb.