Is it a spaceship? A yurt? A tent? No, it’s a Yaca-Dome! And it’s not just any old Yaca-Dome, it’s the original Yaca-Dome!

Yacoboni’s Dome Home in Pittsburg

On our road trip to Missouri we decided to have a short stop in Pittsburg, PA. So I was browsing various AirBnB options to stay at, and suddenly found this gem: a dome shaped house, designed and built by Joseph Yacoboni in 1969. It was his first dome house, that became known as the Yaca-Dome. Later Yacoboni built many more in Florida and across the country. This one is special because it was a prototype, the first project of that kind.

These houses are aero dynamic and self supporting so they are a stable structure in earthquakes and hurricanes. Joseph also designed and patented an Earthquake Bolt in the concrete footer of the Domes.

His vision was inspired by the fact that there are no squares in nature. And even now, 50 years later, his project looks fresh. I was wondering how does it feel to wake up in a room without a single corner, so the booking was made and confirmed in minutes.

The host told us that this house was abandoned for many years and looked really bad, but then a local realtor noticed it and decided to make an investment. He fully renovated the house, beautified the surrounding area and now rents it out to people like you and me. In 2014 the house was featured in Pittsburg Magazine and seems like it never stayed empty for a long time anymore.

It costed $84 to rent the king room at this private historic landmark. We were met by the host but then she left us there alone overnight. As I had a $40 coupon, we got the whole house for only $44. BTW, if you don’t have an AirBnb account yet, here’s a $40 coupon.

And here are the links for booking:

Also, look for more in the host’s profile. There are way too many rules in these listings than you probably saw on AirBnb before but most likely there is a reason for that.

Some of Joe’s other visions include:

  1. domes used as emergency hospitals that are transported by helicopter into a needed area and erected on site;
  2. waxed cardboard domes to be carried in sections in a backpack and assembled for overnight shelter for the homeless;
  3. dome panels being transported on a space shuttle to be self erected on space stations;
  4. a community of domes inspired by the Tree of Life.
Joseph received patents on his design and engineering

A few remarks:

  • The neighborhood looks pretty rough.
  • The house is located in the city but it’s better to go there by car. It is nowhere near restaurants, shopping, nightlife, museums or any tourist destinations. Take a look at the Allegheny County’s Police crime map before you decide to take a walk around there.
  • The dome is secluded with lots of nature to watch from the large patio: we heard wild turkeys and saw deers. It was great to have breakfast on the patio in late April.
  • The house is very old: there are many sounds there… It will bother you only if you’re a light sleeper.
  • One disadvantage of the Dome’s construction is that you cannot open any windows.
  • Round windows lighten up the room in a very cool way.
  • Seems like neighbors don’t like AirBnb guests in general and that’s why they put their construction trash near the dome home.
  • In general do not expect luxury. The kitchen was grungy. The bathroom was a little rusty but fine. The house needs some TLC. (Bed was very comfortable and clean towels were provided though).
  • Nobody lives there full-time so it doesn’t feel like a real home (more like a hotel experience).
  • Furniture & interior of the house gave us a feeling we are staying at a kinda Mad Men filming location.
  • Let’s be honest, if you are staying at the dome it’s because you want to experience the DOME! The layout is really cool — something we probably won’t get to experience again. The dome house is somewhat natural to the body, mind and spirit.
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