7 Wonderful Examples of Earth-Sheltered Homes

Earth-sheltered homes—which typically feature either underground construction or homes built into slopes with soil against the walls and on top of the roof—are among the oldest forms of buildings. The houses are generally less susceptible to extreme temperatures outdoors. Below we visit seven wonderful examples of earth homes that show that underground living can be as stylish as it is environmentally friendly.

Looking for the rolling hills and green pastures J.R.R. Tolkien describes in The Hobbit, location scouts for Peter Jackson’s movie adaptation found Alexander Farm in Matamata, New Zealand. Crews built temporary Hobbit Holes, but after much public interest, the set was saved from demolition and is now open for public tours.

Malator in Pembrokeshire, Wales was built for Bob Marshall-Andrews, a former member of Parliament. The home is largely underground because of legislation that prohibited visible construction, landscape destruction, or wildlife disruption in the national park where it’s located. There is only one metal chimney protruding from a hill’s surface.

Villa Vals in Switzerland is only accessible through an underground tunnel that connects to a nearby barn (which is above ground).

Peter Vetsch built over 100 homes in this style throughout Switzerland and abroad, spearheaded by the belief in “environmentally conscious, ecological, and progressive architecture.” Many of his designs are crafted using sprayed concrete—similar to bubble houses—and feature organic, curved facades reminiscent of Antoni Gaudí.

Modernist architect William Morgan is responsible for this underground home, commonly known as Dune House. Located within a sand dune near Atlantic Beach, Florida, the property is actually composed of two identical 650-square-foot units. Inside, sunken conversation pits, a curving staircase, and built-in sofas make for a true modern gem.

Designed by Arthur Quarmby, Underhill in Holme, West Yorkshire, was the first earth-sheltered house built in Britain in modern times and has since been listed on the National Heritage List for England.

Though not fully underground, Blue Reef Cottages in Outer Hebrides, UK feature turf roofs and sinuous curves to blend easily into the hills on which they’re built. Designed by Stuart Bagshaw, the residences were inspired by underground, neolithic homes.

You can read the original article at www.architecturaldigest.com

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