The Bloomhouse seems to erupt or grow from the ground, leaving no straight lines. It was actually hand-sculpted over the course of a decade into a piece of residential art. It resembles a fantastic animal (a dog, rabbit, deer, duck, dragon) or even a mushroom but looks very little like a conventional house.
Architect Charles Harker began work in the early ‘70s using nature as inspiration and no blueprints or formal plans (the only permit required in unincorporated Travis County, Texas was for septic). His first step was to create the basic shape of the home in steel rebar which was coated in layers of polyurethane foam. Harker spent 9 months on site hand-sculpting the foam into intricate designs. The home was finished with layers of concrete stucco.
The interior has been described as “falling down the rabbit hole in “Alice in Wonderland—mesmerizing and psychedelic” and having the snug quality of a Hobbit tea party. Each room flows into the next and it’s hard to stay oriented with the multiple levels and endless shapes. The bedroom is an oversized conch shell that Harker hoped with replicate the acoustics of the ocean. The only door in the home is on the bathroom though even this room drifts outside with an exterior shower.
There are cubby holes and nooks everywhere, some are closets, And there is no elaborate system of tubes and orifices that make up a natural airflow for heating and cooling. Even the spiral staircase leading to the upstairs nook bedroom is part of the Venturi effect for natural air-conditioning.
Dalton Bloom, the original owner, never actually lived in the home, but when Dave Klaunch bought it in 2017 it was inhabited, but the pipes had calcified and there were problems with mold. Klaus immediately began restoring the home giving careful attention to all the minutiae, like the Cherry wood “ribs” that accentuate the curves and gave us the impression of being inside a whale’s belly.