The History of Octagonal Homes and Structures

Octagonal homes originally became popular throughout the United States during the late 19th century, but their recorded history dates back thousands of years. The octagon shape has always been a symbolic architectural theme representing regeneration, rebirth and renewal. The oldest known octagonal structure is The Tower of the Winds in Athens, Greece which was built in approximately 300 B.C. Over the years the octagon has been used in constructing churches and temples for its many spiritual representations. It was during the 1850s that octagonal homes became a popular architectural style, due to the influence of Orson Squire Fowler’s book The Octagon House: A Home For All, or A New, Cheap, Convenient, and Superior Mode of Building (1848). Fowler’s book portrayed to people that there were numerous advantages to an octagonal house plan. One of the advantages of an octagonal design is that the multi-sided shape encloses space more efficiently than its counterpart, the square; therefore, decreasing heat loss and gain. Additionally, an octagonal structure permits more natural light, aiding in the reduction of electric bills for illumination and heating in the winter and from a livability standpoint, octagonal designs allow for panoramic views and easier orientation on the building site.

In the past few decades octagonal designs have been revamped into more contemporary home designs that utilize Post and Beam building techniques. Expert in this application is Topsider Homes, who designs and manufactures its octagonal structures to custom specifications. Topsider Homes provides a new genre of building designs by marrying their unique pedestal foundation to an octagonal structure using a Post and Beam building system. The combination of these design and construction principles has created homes that are “structural battleships,” able to withstand hurricanes and earthquakes. Topsider’s unique octagonal homes permit 360 degree views making them very popular in vacation and scenic destinations, such as on the beach or the side of a mountain. They adapt to the terrain and climate of almost any building site and can be built on a wide range of foundation types, including pedestals, pilings, basements, slab and crawl-spaces. These octagonal house designs are ideal for residential areas, retirement homes, home additions and more.