Eh-oh! No it's not Teletubby land. It's the return of the 1960s Binishell... The cheap, quick-to-build and eco-friendly concrete dome home is heading to the developing world

It's easy to build and costs only around £2,000 to make, so it really is a cheaper option when it comes to building homes

The colourful dome homes first came into being in the 1960s and were invented by Dr Dante Bini.

Things go in and out of fashion and it seems Dr Bini's architect son,
Nicolo Bini, has decided it's time to bring back the Binishell. The
versatile structures can be built on a grand scale or made rather small
as they have been used as low-cost housing for refugees and displaced people in the developing world, as well as schools, gyms and sports stadiums.

binishells with pathway planted trees and green lawn

(Image credit: TBC)

Over 1,600 Binishells have been built across the globe, including gymnasium-sized shells 120 feet in diameter and Tinky Winky bubble-shaped bungalows in the developing world. Good luck trying to hang the family portrait on the wall!


A Binishell
is kinder to the environment than your average home for many reasons.
When it comes to building one it uses less labour and materials than
more traditional structures.

These cute little round houses are made using a membrane that is inflated and then concrete is poured over it. The Binishell concrete skin is so efficient that it reduces energy use by as much as 75% in comparison to more traditional buildings. It's a warm little bubble.

Being kind to nature is a part of these buildings as they are made from concrete, which is one of the more greener construction materials. It means they have a lower carbon footprint. That's sure to have environmentalist's dancing with joy.

binishell with green lawn wooden bench

(Image credit: TBC)

The concrete bubble structures won't pop as according to Nicolo, Binishells have withstood the forces of nature on Mount Etna for nearly 50 years.

The domed shape is naturally aerodynamic providing some protection from hurricanes and storms. Yikes! Strong enough to rival the Tubbytronic Superdome, perhaps?

Although you may not have seen one, over 1,600 Binishells have been built in 23 countries. We don't know if Teletubbies reside in them, but maybe they should.

It seems that the Binishell could be the answer to disaster relief situations in developing countries as they are so easy and quick to build, reducing construction schedules by 50% or more. Wowzers!

Before you know it there could be a Binishell near you.

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Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.