Dome alone

20.10.25: THE RICH are flocking to a domed city built in the Australian outback that exploits the three paranoias of the 21st-century bourgeoisie: robbery, pollution and natural disaster.

The wealthiest of the world's citizens feel increasingly threatened by the relentless rise of the global underclass. They resent having to breathe the same polluted air, let alone suffer the same savage weather conditions. Earthdome protects its residents from all of these. You'll need to pay about E$5.8m per year for the privilege. Nowhere else on Earth is as safe, so most of the 10,000 inhabitants stay put.

Earthdome comprises a series of climate-controlled intersecting glazed domes. The security-patrolled luxury complex is threaded along a secluded oasis-like river ravine in the heart of the Australian interior.

You can rent a house or an apartment there, or even set up offices for your business. Speedy and safe access is guaranteed from the city's private airport.

In Britain, the Eden Project, designed by the architect Nicholas Grimshaw in 1997 and opened in 2002, showed how geodesic domes could cover a huge area of an abandoned quarry to form a botanical research centre.

It took worsening air pollution and global climatic conditions before the concept could be applied to a full-scale city.

But don't even think about applying to live in Earthdome unless you have a credit rating that could buy you a small country or unless you have ambitions to be a security guard. If you get the job, your salary would make you a millionaire in 10 years. HP