The last aircrete brick has been laid for an eco igloo house that will be one of the quirkiest places to stay in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
A Flaxton sculptor, who has been busy creating her aircrete dome home since late 2021, has revealed the build is now at the “pointy end”.
The project has been an epic journey, with Cath Wild’s out-of-the-box idea winning a world-renowned building and design competition, and a significant share of prizemoney, late last year.
From tens of thousands of entries worldwide, 100 aspiring designers, architects and DIYers from 23 countries were chosen to bring their crazy house ideas to life and share in the Airbnb $US10 million OMG! Fund.
Among the winners were four recipients from Australia, one of whom was Ms Wild, who received up to $US100,000 in prizemoney.
But now the clock is ticking to get the eco igloo house “Airbnb finished” by August and start welcoming guests.
With the shell of the dome home complete and the windows being ordered and fitted next month to make it waterproof, Ms Wild said her creation was well on schedule.
“It’s definitely getting there and I am on a mission to get it done,” she said.
“A couple more months and it will hopefully be finished, I’m pulling out all stops to meet that deadline.
“The last brick in the dome’s walls is the biggest milestone I have just accomplished.
“It means I won’t be up on ladders too much more apart from rendering the inside.”
Believed to be the first of its kind to get building approval in Australia, Ms Wild has been building her aircrete dome home using 6000 handmade aircrete bricks.
It is made up of four large domes that blend into the rainforest backdrop of the Blackall Range.
Related story: World-first ‘eco igloo’ scores global design honour
Aircrete is described as “concrete with bubbles”. It is insulative, sound-proof, pest-proof, cyclone-proof, lightweight and has DIY-friendly benefits, making it a perfect option for the Australian climate.
Since catching up with SCN last November, Ms Wild has “just been building domes”.
“I have had very few days off, they are massive and everyone is calling me a unit at the moment,” she said.
“Being a sculptor and not a builder, it’s been a steep learning curve to take on this stuff, but I am managing. I have built two tiny homes in the past so I’m not a complete novice at it.”
The skylights are being installed this weekend and once it’s waterproof it is full steam ahead for the internal fit-out.
“That will include electrics, plumbing, cabinets, flooring and painting,” she said.
“It will be all the normal stuff but with curves.”
Related story: No place like dome: ‘first’ in reshaping low-cost housing
She revealed her interior design plans would encompass red cedar wooden slabs, day beds, wrought ironwork and contemporary chandeliers.
“It will be minimalistic – at this stage I’m just trying to get over the line,” she said.
“All the artistic touches, such as stainless inserts, will happen over time and when I have more time.
While she has managed mostly alone with a few extra hands here and there, she said the internal fit-out stage had been a community effort.
“My tribe is coming in with innovative and money-saving solutions too, to help me get over the line for this deadline,” she said.
“It’s just so beautiful, I’m so grateful.
“I have just been so blessed to have so many trades and people behind my project.
“I’m a strong-minded woman and I have faith in myself and in my friends who will help me out, so I know I’m going to do this.”
This weekend she said she was excited to welcome her second big group of Aircrete Dome Australia course graduates for a hands-on weekend to help her with the project.
Once open for business, Ms Wild hopes her creation will garner a lot of public attention.
“I’ve recently had a half a dozen people call wanting to know if they can put their names down on the waiting list to book it out,” she said.
“I’m hoping I will be able to rent it fairly solidly and fill the Airbnb requirements.
“I plan to still live in it myself, but maybe after a few years.”
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