The Flintstone House

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The Flintstone House
View of The Flintstone House from Doran Memorial Bridge on Interstate 280 (June 2007)
View from Doran Memorial Bridge on Interstate 280 (June 2007)
General information
Architectural styleFree-form dome
Address45 Berryessa Way
Town or cityHillsborough, California
CountryUnited States
Coordinates37°31′52.7″N 122°21′32.4″W / 37.531306°N 122.359000°W / 37.531306; -122.359000Coordinates: 37°31′52.7″N 122°21′32.4″W / 37.531306°N 122.359000°W / 37.531306; -122.359000
Heightapprox. 20 ft (6 m)
Technical details
Structural systemShotcrete on steel
Floor area3,200 ft2 (297 m2)
Design and construction
ArchitectWilliam Nicholson

The Flintstone House is a free-form, single-family residence in Hillsborough, California[1] overlooking and easily seen from the Doran Memorial Bridge carrying Interstate 280 over San Mateo Creek.[2][3][4]



The house was designed by architect William Nicholson and built in 1976 as one of several experimental domed buildings using new materials. It was constructed by spraying shotcrete onto steel rebar and wire mesh frames over inflated aeronautical balloons.[5] It has approximately 2,700 sq ft (250 m2) of living space including three bedrooms, one accessed via a spiral staircase inspired by an icecream cone that at the top is the same diameter as the room, and two bathrooms, and has a two-car garage.[5] All the interior surfaces are rounded, and the master bathroom has a floor of rocks instead of tiles.[6][5] Originally off-white in color, the house was repainted deep orange in 2000,[5] and one of the domes was later painted purple.[7]


The house is known popularly as "The Flintstone House", from The Flintstones, a Hanna-Barbera Productions animated cartoon series of the early 1960s about a Stone Age family. It is also known as the Dome House, the Gumby House, the Worm Casting House, the Bubble House,[5] and "The Barbapapa House", from Barbapapa, a character and series of books created by Annette Tison and Talus Taylor in the 1970s.[8]

Disrepair, restoration and remodeling[edit]

By the mid-1980s the house had fallen into disrepair, as water runoff from higher on the mountainside damaged the foundation, causing the walls to crack. After failed attempts at sealing the cracks, it was extensively restored in 1987.[5][6][9]

San Francisco Bay Area architect Eugene Tsui undertook to remodel the house during the first decade of the 2000s. The results of Tsui's remodel appear as the "Edises Kitchen" project, pictured on Tsui's website.[10] Tsui's original concept for the remodel, including a proposed complementary second residence on the property, is detailed in depth on his earlier site.[11]

In late 2017, new owners installed large oxidized steel sculptures of dinosaurs, a woolly mammoth, a giraffe, and Fred Flintstone in the yard.[7][12][13]


The house was unpopular with some neighbors, and inspired the formation of a local architectural review board.[6] In March 2019, the town of Hillsborough filed a complaint against the current owner of the house, Florence Fang. The complaint alleges that the current owner's modifications are a "public nuisance" and that she did not receive the proper permits for her modifications.[14] In March 2019, Fang retained the law offices of former San Francisco Mayor Joseph L. Alioto and Angela Alioto to respond to the Hillsborough Complaint.[15][16]


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  2. ^ Bridge 35-199, at Crystal Springs Road and San Mateo Creek, was dedicated the Eugene A. Doran Memorial Bridge in 1969 after a Hillsborough police officer who was killed in the line of duty on August 5, 1959. It was rededicated the Officer Eugene A. Doran and Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran Memorial Bridge in 2004 to include Patrick Doran, Eugene's son, who died in Vietnam on February 18, 1967.
  3. ^ California State Assembly. "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 34—Relative to the naming of a state highway bridge in the memory of Officer Eugene A. Doran". 1969 Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California (Resolution). State of California. Ch. 173 p. 3765.
  4. ^ California State Assembly. "Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 65—Relative to the Officer Eugene A. Doran and Marine Lance Corporal Patrick M. Doran Memorial Bridge". Session of the Legislature. Statutes of California (Resolution). State of California. Ch. 138 p. 7588.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "The Flintstone House". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved 2018-07-13.
  6. ^ a b c Virginia Gardiner. "Meet the Flintstones". The Wave. Archived from the original on 2006-05-07.
  7. ^ a b Marissa Kendall (2018-03-21) [2018-03-18]. "Famous 'Flintstone House' gets yabba dabba doo makeover". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved 2019-03-15.
  8. ^ Brock Keeling (2017-06-27). "Hillsborough 'Flinstone House' sold for $2.8 million". Curbed San Francisco.
  9. ^ "Flintstone House: Doomed California Domed house Saved Through Refurbishing Efforts". Archived from the original on 2003-06-18 – via Andek.
  10. ^ Eugene Tsui's "completed projects" slide show.
  11. ^ Architect Eugene Tsui's original concept for the mid-2000s remodel.
  12. ^ Michelle Robertson (2018-01-18). "Iconic Flintstone house welcomes new residents – a herd of massive dino sculptures". San Francisco Chronicle.
  13. ^ Evan Sernoffsky (March 16, 2019). "Hillsborough suing over 'Flintstone House,' calling additions an eyesore". San Francisco Chronicle.
  14. ^ Robertson, Michelle. "Yabba Dabba Don't: 'Flintstone House' owner in trouble for dinosaurs, other landscaping improvements". SFGate. Hearst Communications, Inc. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  15. ^ "Owner of Iconic 'Flintstones House' Fights Back Against Hillsborough Lawsuit". NBC Bay Area. NBCUniversal Media, LLC. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  16. ^ Article in The Guardian with many 2019 images

External links[edit]