In the early 1970’s, two friends at the University of Texas decided to do something bold. Dalton Bloom wanted to create an extraordinary place that would last forever. Charles Harker wanted to design something unique. Together, they created the Bloomhouse, the most unusual home in the world.
Built in the hills of West Austin, the Bloomhouse represents the symbiotic interaction of man and nature. Its organic shape, rising from the earth, mimics the flow of the air, the curve of the wind, and the gentle rise and fall of nature’s melody. Harker’s curvilinear designs are simultaneously familiar and fantastic.
The Bloomhouse was constructed with unusual methods and materials starting with basic shapes formed with steel rebar, coated in layers of polyurethane foam, sculpted with a hand-held pruning saw over a seven-month period, and finished with layers of concrete stucco both inside and out. The result is a structure that is remarkably well-insulated and eco-friendly.
In the late 70’s or early 80’s, Charles Harker was interviewed on Good Morning America about the Bloomhouse and its cousin, the Earth House – a similar structure located near the intersection of Bee Cave Road and Loop 360. The Earth House was never completed and was demolished in the early 1990s to make way for the Village at Westlake shopping center. Read more about it on page 3 of this newsletter.
The interior features cherry wood accents, shelves and cabinetry carved in situ to complement and enhance the natural shapes. The ceilings are covered with sound-absorbing, recycled natural fibers. Handmade concrete and ceramic tiles resembling end-cut cedar disks cover the floors inside and out.
The award-winning structure took 11 years to build and was heralded as a masterpiece of contemporary architecture upon its debut. A thorough restoration in 2017 and 2018 has returned the Bloomhouse to its original glory and is offered to the public for short- and long-term rental exclusively by Top Trip Rentals of Austin.
Special thanks to west elm furniture of Austin for outfitting the Bloomhouse with its attractive, contemporary décor.
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