Baggins End Domes

The Domes, (AKA Baggins End Innovative Housing), is an on-campus cooperative housing community designed by Ron Swenson. Consisting of 14 polyurethane-insulated fiberglass domes located in the Sustainable Research Area at the western end of Orchard Road, it is home to 26 UCD students. It is one of the only student co-housing cooperative communities in the USA, and is an early example of the modern-day growing Tiny House/Small House Movement.

The Domes opened in the fall of 1972. According to Doug Ryen, who oversaw the Domes for UC Davis for a number of years, the community was proposed in the 1960’s by a group of students who wanted to create less expensive housing options on campus. “A few different proposals were made by designers/builders for ways to accomplish this. Ultimately the dome style was chosen.”

Here are some photos of the birth of the domes.

After a brief closure in the Fall of 2011, a lease between UCD and Solar Community Housing Association was signed. After renovations new residents moved back in during January of 2012. Come by soon and check the Domes out for yourself.

Understanding the Domes and Our Values:

The Domes at Baggins End is a living-learning community that encourages critical thought, communication and cooperation between individuals and the community, active maintenance of an open and inclusive space, and resistance to consumerism and structures of oppression.

We aim to enact these values through the following:

  • Unlearning oppressive behaviors – which includes recognizing our privileges and biases, and questioning what we’ve been told
  • Taking personal responsibility for self-education and introspection
  • Learning from one another, and educating others outside the community
  • Encouraging experimentation with yourself, your interests, and the space
  • Being patient with ourselves and others
  • Sharing our resources – time, tools, meals, and knowledge (when we are able)
  • Creating a space for self-care
  • Providing affordable, low-income housing
  • Supporting each other as students in our various academic pursuits
  • This is not a space for prejudices, stereotypes, violence, and/or oppressive language or behavior towards any one race, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, sexuality, ability (social, mental, physical), socioeconomic class, age, size, religion, or citizenship status
  • Respecting one another’s needs – space, noise, cleanliness, and other personal preferences
  • Being open to changing your mind and not getting everything you want – while prioritizing some people’s needs over your own
  • Resisting consumerism and production-based mentality – growing our own food, seed saving, food preservation, communal dinners, composting, greywater, energy reduction, freecycling, reusing, communal tools, and so on…
  • Consider how growing your own food challenges corporate dominance of people, cultures, and land
  • Recognizing the intersectionality of ideas and movements and promoting solidarity between them

The Domes are always looking for applicants!

Are you interested in living at the the Domes? Well, we are looking for applicants like you who are open to learning and unlearning together. We aim to create a safer and more compassionate space that is not tolerant of prejudices, stereotypes, violence, and/or oppressive language or behavior towards any one race, ethnicity, gender identity, sex, sexuality, ability (social, mental, physical), socioeconomic class, age, size, religion, or citizenship status.

Rent is currently $575 /month per person in a 2-person Dome. The lease is one year starting Sept 1st. Typically, the spaces are open at the beginning of each new school year, but there are regularly spots available at the end of the quarters. 

  1. Hey Randi– Love your enthusiasm! One very important point, though– If you sign up for a shift, ya gotta show up for the shift! Everything from tasks to tools to food will be planned by the work schedule. Signing up for 2 shifts & staying for more is cool, but we need to plan on that core of signed-up workers!
    Let the volunteer coordinators know by signing up above for the shifts you CAN make in the signup area above, and make a note in the “special Skills” that you’re adjusting your hours! Thanks, Cathy

  2. Hi Jesikah!
    We will be collecting lent tools on Nov 1-2nd. Please send me the list of tools you are willing to lend at and I will update our online list. Also, please mark your tools in a way that you can identify them. We will have our own system of identification, but this will help tremendously with the process. Thank you!

  3. hey! saving the domes was great…..a bunch of people were taking pictures and it would be really cool to get them online so everyone who helped can see them! maybe a blog or on a photo-sharing site (shutterfly or something). just an idea!

Leave a Reply