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Landmark Flintstone House drops onto the Bay Area for-sale market like a boulder

Hot Property | Flintstone House
The so-called Flintstone House, a local landmark in Hillsborough, Calif., has come on the market at $4.2 million.
(Judy Meuschke / Alain Pinel Real )

The Hillsborough, Calif., home known as the Flintstone House for its boulder-like appearance has come on the market at $4.2 million.

“Many of you have seen this house from Highway 280 for years,” wrote listing agent Judy Meuschke of Alain Pinel Realtors on her Facebook page. “Your curiosity will be satisfied when you see the great photos when the website is up.”

The multiple-dome-shaped structure was designed in 1976 by Bay Area architect William Nicholson as an experiment in new materials, reports the San Jose Mercury News. During the 1980s the residence was called the “Barbapapa” house after the children’s books of that name and a subsequent cartoon show. Other monikers have included the Dome House, the Gumby House and the Bubble House.

The unusual shape of the three-bedroom, two-bathroom house was created by molding wire around large balloons and then spraying the surface with gunite. There’s 2,730 square feet of living space within the home’s rounded exterior walls, which were originally white but were later painted orange. One dome is now purple.


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The tallest part of the house contains an upstairs bedroom reached by a spiral staircase. Rocks were used in place of floor tile in the master bathroom.

Among more recent updates, architect Eugene Tsui designed the skylight-topped kitchen with its glass-topped counter. Burning Man artist Dan Das Mann made the distinctive steel cut-out doors. A medusa chandelier hangs above the conversation pit living area, which has a fireplace.

The nearly two-acre property last sold in 1996 for $800,000, public records show.


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