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Mark Chest and Candice Walck had lived in Schwenksville their whole lives, and in 1998 they decided to move one last time within the Montgomery County borough after viewing a one-of-a-kind property.
The home is a geodesic dome home, a design developed by renowned architect, theorist and inventor Buckminster “Bucky” Fuller.
“We loved the design,” Chest said. “Bucky Fuller was so avant-garde; his whole goal in life was to solve future problems.”
Chest said he and his wife admired Fuller’s work and fell in love with the home for its unique style and open floor plan.
Plus, the home provided many energy-efficient features; something they knew would be low maintenance and would save them hundreds of dollars on electric bills.
“The electric and geothermal heating and cooling were self-sufficient,” Chest said. “We liked that for our lifestyle.”
Chest and Walck, who owned a limousine company for 18 years, were only the second owners to move into the 5,600-square-foot dome home, which is situated on nearly six acres. They purchased the property from the developer who had built the home in 1982.
One of the more notable energy-efficient features is the solarium, which is a glass-enclosed sunroom featuring an 8-person hot tub inside on the ground floor. The room has a thermostat control and assists with the heating of the house.
“The solarium has a heated air collection device which when sent to predetermined degrees kicks a fan on and forces warm air into heating ducts in [the] main dome,” Chest said.
The ceiling fans throughout the home also help with the heating and cooling. The fans – located about 20 feet overhead – circulate the hot air at the top of the dome and push it downward to heat the home in the winter. The fans have the same affect with cool air in the summer, Chest says.
“We use no fuel, we use no fossil fuel, we use no gas,” Chest said, “We use nothing of the sort. We use our own well water.”
The home has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths. The property is made up of two domes, connected by a hallway that Chest refers to as a “companionway.”
Other unique features include a free-standing fireplace and a built-in wet bar. The master suite is located on the first floor, and has walk-in closets and a vanity/make-up area. The two-car garage is its own separate dome as well.
Chest and Walck added a security system and driveway lamps during their time there.
Now after more than 15 years in the dome home, the couple is planning to live outside Schwenksville for the first time. Both retired, they have decided to move to South Carolina where they have a second home.
The couple has enjoyed the “quiet country surrounds” and the small town feel in the neighborhood, but are ready for the third homeowner to experience Fuller’s unique design.
“We want someone to enjoy it as much as we have,” Chest said.