The famous underground houses, unbelievable?!?! Wild? A bit strange? If we stop to think for a second, people have been living under the ground since the beginning of time. All history books speak about cavemen. And many well known people expressed their opinion about underground homes – kind of primitive form of living. The 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes had a very brutal image of these people and of the human being far away from civilization and called this kind of living “poor, nasty, brutish and short”.
But in time, the situation changed. Underground houses are placed nowadays right in the middle of the civilization and they tend to be extremely out-of-the-common, but in an interesting and luxurious way.
Cave-house in shape of a human face, Bomarzo, Italy, 16th c, Picture source: Learning from Architecture
After thousands and thousands of years things have changed a little… 😉
Today’s earth shelter dwellings are a more friendly and elegant return to nature: comfortable and eco. I wonder what Thomas Hobbes would say about these….
A Low Impact Woodland Home Credit for pictures goes to: Simon Dale
A lovely home and the one I like most is the hobbit-like house of Simon Dale from Wales. Built with a lot of care for the environment is one of the wonderful and unique places in the world people would like to live in. Close to nature and making plenty use of it to get a comfortable and modern life… “wood burner for heating, water by gravity from nearby spring, solar panels for lighting, music and computing, skylight in roof lets in natural feeling light”.
Underground Hobbit House by Glenn Kangiser Pictures Credit: glennkangiser on Photobucket
And because we were talking about underground owner built houses this is another interesting one. A whimsical wood home, strangely shaped, in the middle of nature – central California.
Subterra Castle, Dover, Kansas Pictures source: Subterra Set on Flickr
Living underground becomes more fascinating when your home is not just an earth-sheltered residence, but an abandoned subterranean missile launch complex. Subterra Castle is the best example on how to transform an old, ugly and forgotten bunker into a livable and colorful home. Behind a strong door designed to withstand the blast from a nuclear explosion, after tunnels and lots of metal, a New Age ambiance lays in the home of Ed and Dianna. More about their story on: Roadside America.
Cumbria Underground House (Eden Valley, Great Ormside, Cumbria) Pictures source: Visit Cumbria
Similar by nature with the two houses that follow it in this post, Cumbria is not a bunker as the Subterra Castle is, but an environmentally friendly, modernly designed home dug into the moutain, more like a burrow.
Malator (Wales, United Kingdom) Source: Wikipedia – Mike Graham
Malator is a beautiful construction that amazingly blends with the landscape of St Bride’s Bay. More than a strange, contemporary home – one of Wales’ architectural treasures.
Underground House in the Swiss village of Vals Pictures source: Freshome
Underground house in Greece Pictures source: Trendir
Another carved house with just the second storey visible above ground. Designed by Deca Architecture, the eco-friendly home stands proud on the beautiful landscape of the Greek Cycladic Islands and in the windy climate of the Aegean Sea.
L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland (A viking Settlement) Copyright: Dylan Kereluk
A beautiful place meant to remind of Viking settlements in Newfoundland, Canada. You can consider it the authentic Viking recreation – a wonderful architectural piece for travellers.
The many types of underground homes ( Copyright Andrew Seccull 2011 – via Triton)
And a few tips on how to design and build your own underground homes, the amazing architecture of earth sheltered houses (via Malcolm Wells):
Limehurst, Britain – A Luxurious Underground Mansion
As on DailyMail, the house that will be built under the grounds of Limehurst, a Victorian building converted into flats, is a “£2m property, which will be entered via an unassuming door at ground level and descend up to 50ft below.”
Still a project…
And these are just some of the most interesting underground houses.