The ancient Roman atrium, or cavaedium, was designed to take advantage of natural light and assist in ventilation of the home’s interior. Roman authors referred to them as cavum aedium, or “hollow of the house,” and they primarily served as waiting rooms for clients and visitors. Modern atria are also intended to connect structures with nature. However, enclosed atria are as popular as the open-air variety, especially in commercial buildings such as gallerias.
Dome-inspired dwellings, whether geodesic or monolithic, never fail to captivate the imaginations of architecture junkies. Admired for the efficiency of their design–massive structures can be erected with minimal amounts of material–and despised for it as well, critics accurately pointing out that such rounded structures also leads to much wasted space (rounded furniture is hard to come by, among other things), dome homes are very much a love-hate type of design.