At first glance these homes appear more whimsical then functional but their designs intend to mimic the organic & abstract underground environment. Although the initial costs of constructing an underground home are steep, there are numerous cost saving advantages that return the initial investment in the long run. A lot of people revert to images of a claustrophobic light-less hobbit holes when imagining underground homes but a well planned design has all the advantages of a cozy above ground home as well as the sustainable and structural benefits of an fully enclosed living space, entirely under the surface of the Earth.
The earth acts as a natural insulation significantly reducing energy consumption and providing protection from natural disasters. An additional bonus is that you will no longer need to worry about painting, shingles or my favourite cleaning out the eaves troughs!!!
The first home belongs to Bill Lishman who emphasizes that “the design must be well thought out in advance because any changes would be difficult or impossible once the earth was replaced. Upgrades for things like phone, cable and power must be in place at the time of building. Also, it is of course incredibly difficult to fit square appliances and hang rectangular frames in spherical rooms and on rounded walls.”
For more information on William Lishman Underground Architecture click on the link.
The examples of underground homes I have chosen to showcase transition from more organic and natural design interpretations to modern adapted concepts. The following example resembles the entrance of a cave, wide and open, dark and heavy but bright and spacious. This home is an incredible expression of architectural concepts being fused to create an earthen living structure buried in the mountainous ground of the Swiss Alps.
Rather than wrapping outward around the home, the exterior facade circles inward and faces an oval forecourt.
The odd opening frames amazing views of the surrounding landscape as well as providing privacy and security for the residents within. The concrete and stone construction provides a solid structure while allowing for natural light to flow through into every interior space.
The following is a more modern take on underground home designs as shown in the inside pictures below. Shaped like an abstract flower the underground house is nearly invisible, blending into the landscape like rolling hills in the distance not to mention an incredible aerial view.
At eight thousand square feet, this house designed by Make Architects for all-star football player Gary Neville is as architecturally daring as it is eco-friendly. It aims to be the first carbon-neutral house in all of Great Britain.