They have been likened to bubble gum beehives, musculatured mushrooms, humanoid terrariums, lunar campsites, shingled igloos and plastic puffballs. By whatever designation, but for every good reason, the geodesic dome home is finally winning acceptance and approbation.

"The market is literally exploding," says Engineer Peter Tobia, whose New Jersey-based Geodesic Structures, Inc. sells prefabricated domes (average price: $12,000) nationally through a network of 40 builder-dealers. Tobia, who says his firm receives 400 written inquiries a week, expects to double the number of dealer outlets this year and sell some 200 units (about $2.2...

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