Underground dwelling was something that our ancestors left behind when they decided to go for above the ground structures, began building and haven’t stopped since. For ages, men have attempted to reach for the heavens and build taller and bigger buildings amazing the world with their innovation.
Today, here at Kenny Slaught’s blog, we will go back to the basics and take a look at the most amazing examples of underground architecture for homes and hotels. These structures build right into the earth represent great achievements of architecture and engineering that have proven to offer us many advantages by being built underground.
Gary Neville’s Home
The former captain of the Manchester United, Gary Neville, had Make Architects build this beautiful home for him in Bolton, U.K. The one-story structure spans over 8,000 feet underground with a few sections visible from up to forming petals of a flower. The home is not only beautiful but also eco-friendly, using locally sourced materials and traditional building methods. The use of solar panels and wind turbines provide the house with renewable energy all year round.
Underground Home in the Village of Vals
Netherlands architects from SeARCH and Christian Muller Architects collaborated in bringing this beautiful house to completion. The house is one of many built next to the hillside in the Swiss village of Vals. However, the first thing that sets it apart, is how small of an imprint the home has on the outside, making it almost unnoticeable to those passing by. The house does a great job of harnessing the light and spreading it everywhere inside the dwelling.
A Smial is a hole in the ground where a hobbit lives. After the international success of the fantastic movies based on the late J.R.R. Tolkien, the idea of hobbit homes has become more and more popular.
Woodlyn Park in New Zealand is considered the first hobbit motel is the world. The rooms can accommodate up to 6 people comfortably and they are quite spacious inside with their own kitchen and shower of course. The hotel also has a bar and a restaurant; rumor has it they serve a wonderful second breakfast.
Bella Vista Hotel
Bella Vista means “beautiful view”. The name does justice to this amazing spot designed by Matteo Thun in Bozen, Italy. This eco-friendly hotel focuses on sustainability and finding the perfect balance with nature. The 11 structures that make up Bella Vista are built right into the hillside and feature sustainable heating and cooling methods and an architectural designed based on the local culture.
This 15,000-square-foot home is built within a sandstone cave in Festus, Missouri. The structure uses an existing cave and fills it with its design instead for digging into the side of the mountain like we have been seeing so far. Its owners, who bought it in a famous eBay auction, designed the home themselves. The place used to be a skating rink and a concert venue before it was turned into the beautiful unfinished-sandstone-wall home that it is today.
“The Teletubby house”
Also know as The Malator, this house located in Druidstone, Wales blends almost perfectly with its environment, making it virtually invisible. The design is quite simple and it takes advantage of the surrounding landscape features to give an amazing view to its dwellers as well as keeping them acclimated using geothermal energy. The house is considered one of the best architectural projects of Wales.
Located in Dietikon, Switzerland, these strange underground homes pioneer a new and unique concept related to eco-friendly, progressive architecture. The nine-house compound was designed by Peter Vetsch and features homes having from three up to seven bedrooms. The homes are a lot larger than they seem, as they are mostly underground and covered by the grass that surrounds them. The homes gather around a small artificial lake.
The Aloni House
Located in the Cycladic Islands, this amazing home seems to disappear into the landscape. This single-level structure with a surface of 240 square meters was the creation of Deca Architecture. The home uses material found in the nearby region and is shaped so it utilizes the lay of the land in the best way possible to regulate the temperature of the structure. The roof is used for planting, thus providing extra insulation and better concealing the house in the environment.
These amazing structures are located in Kandovan, Iran. The homes have been there for over 700 hundred years and continue to amaze visitors today. They may not be as fancy as some of our other entries, but they are cozy for sure and a beautiful example of the balance between the classic and the new. Not all of them sit underground, as some of them are actually carved into the face of the mountain. The houses inside present a simple, yet classy design of rooms and crannies shaped right into the natural rock.