The idea of “living underground” could be fascinating for many people and yet a nightmare for another group
Most choose a house built in the ground considering the area, but the reasons for building fully or partially underground vary, including needing to minimize the house’s impact on the neighborhood, building where one cannot stretch sideways or upward, profiting of the warming and cooling properties of the earth.
Some people would build into the earth simply to be hidden from view of strangers.
The design and construction of a house underground presents many challenges, such as the cost of dredging, drainage, drainage costs, access issues, and setting up decent daylight and ventilation. It is often the case that the underground houses are partially built into the ground or built into a slope, so that there are still sides that are free for the air, sun and views.
Check out these seven houses that are partially built into the earth.
Malator, from Future Systems, Wales (1998)
amazing houses built into the earth
With a dramatic location on top of the rocky hill, this one-room house is barely underground. It has no garden, driveway or associated open spaces and it blends seamlessly into the landscape. On the land side, a small glazed entrance offers a view of the outside world.
The hatch openings give a feeling of the sea
There are colorful prefabricated components in the interior. From the large, curved sofa you can enjoy great expansive seagull views of St. Brides Bay.
The Hobbit House, by Simon and Jasmine Dale, Wales (2005)
Simon Dales from a construction company built this environmentally friendly, low-energy house for his family using simple tools and local natural materials. It is carved out of the earth or harvested from the fields around it. The facility is sustainable with the compost toilets, solar panels and spring water.
The house is partially built into the hill to minimize the visual impact
The ceiling is formed by around 30 roughly felled trees. The walls are a mixture of lime-plastered dry stone walls and bales of straw. The ceiling is insulated with bales of straw, covered with soil and sown with grass.
Dutch Mountain, from Denieuwegeneratie (New Generation), in the Netherlands (2011)
This sustainable house is built into a wooded Dutch moor where the earth rises as a small mountain and the house absorbs it.
The house built into the hill is thus isolated and hidden. The entrance is cut off in the mountain.
Cantilever wooden ceiling
The cantilevered wooden ceiling emerges above the earth, it has glazed openings to maximize solar energy and brighten the interior. The thermal mass of the house retains heat when needed, and the natural properties of the earth cool the house in summer.
The interiors of the house are surprisingly bright and inviting, with a surface made of exposed concrete and painted levels
The rooms have a cave feel with the natural light coming through the deep sections in the hill or through the large open south lit rooms in front with a view of the woods around.
Home of César Manrique, Lanzarote Island, Spain (1966)
This famous house was built on the site of an 18th century volcanic crater in Lanzarote, Spain. Above the earth you can see a low, mild, limed building where cacti and colorful steel sculptures appear in the inhospitable volcanic landscape.
Here you have the feeling as if lava was flowing into a room
Artist studios with large panorama windows with a view of the basalt landscape are located in the entrance zone.
In one of the caves there is a semicircular white sofa around a single palm tree that extends through a hole to the ceiling
Large holes in the floor and stone stairs lead to the lower floor, where five rooms have been drilled in the volcanic basalt, connected by narrow passages painted in white.
Dani Ridge House, from Carver and Schicketanz, Big Sur, California
The goal of this house was that it was sustainable. In order to preserve the surrounding landscape and protect the house from the neighbors, the architects cut a wedge in the hill and built the house in it. The slightly curved ceiling was built with native grasses. The whole system is stuck underground.
Glazed walls ensure views of the Pacific and collect solar energy, which is stored in the thermal mass of the limestone floor
The retaining wall and the floor cover minimize heat losses. The placement of the windows from east to west encourages the draft to cool down in the warmer months.
Villa Vals, by Christian Muller Architects and SeArch, in Switzerland (2008)
Villa Vals is a modern take on the old underground dwellings. Thanks to the special sensitivity of the location, the architects built the house deep into a steep slope so that it does not disturb the surrounding nature. The house is more like a cavity in the mountain.