Scheduled to be built next year on 55 acres of land near the capital, the dome will contain up to 150 housing units as well as English-speaking shops, schools, and entertainment venues.
Poppy Wright, the project’s chief language and culture consultant, says that she and her team are doing everything they can to ensure that anglophones will feel at home.
“English will be the primary language in the dome, and we will discourage residents from speaking anything else,” she said. “In fact, French and German will simply be banned, and Luxembourgish will only be tolerated in extreme circumstances, such as if a rabid dog sneaks in and starts biting children and we need to contact the police.”
“You know how some continentals make you take off your shoes before you enter their house?” she added. “Well, we’ll ask you to take off your languages.”
The project is just the latest in a series of initiatives to offer more comfort to anglophones in the Grand Duchy, many of whom suffer from frustration, insecurity, and isolation.
Jean Kremer, head of Luxembourg’s Office for the Accomodation of Anglophones, says that although the country was already a cozy place for English speakers, government officials realized that more needed to be done.
“Despite the great efforts we’ve made over the past 20 years, many anglophones are still forced on a daily basis into uncomfortable linguistic situations,” he said. “Such as when they are obliged to say moein to neighbors, or when beggars harass them in French. But in the dome, they’ll be safe.”
London-based architect Haroom Cheema, who submitted the winning design for the project, says that the dome is modeled on a typical English village with a bit of North America, Australia, and New Zealand thrown in.
“In addition to the British-style flats and houses, we’re going to have a Marks and Spencers, a Boots pharmacy, a curry shop, three or four pubs with a spot where drunk men can fight, as well as a Walmart and Taco Bell for the Americans,” he said. “Also, we’re going to create a large field where people can play cricket, go Morris Dancing, shoot guns, or whatever.”
“And not to say there’s anything wrong with the air in Luxembourg, but twice a week we’re going to have a British company pump in 20 tonnes of fresh air from Yorkshire,” he added. “The pipeline, which runs across the Channel through Belgium, is almost complete.”
While the project’s organizers have not yet chosen a name, some which have made the shortlist are Anglia-upon-Pétrusse, Engleschdange, and New Old York.