Fascinating Underground Homes
Cavernous but wide open, dark and heavy but bright and spacious, this incredible underound house is the ultimate expression of architectural opposites fused into a single spectacular 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 – a curved impression in the ground like the absent space left behind by a mysterious giant egg. From within, this odd opening frames amazing views of the surrounding green hills and distant white mountains as well as providing a sense of enclosure and security for residents within the home and front courtyard area – a one-sided yet stunning view as opposed to the normal full-surround sights normally expected of a mountain home. Constructed of stone and concrete, the house feels solid and safe inside and out – yet manages to have copious openings to allow natural light to flow effortlessly into every interior space. Outside In: Ultimate Underground Swiss Mountain Home
There is growing interest in the use of shipping containers as the basis for habitable structures. These "icons of globalization" are relatively inexpensive, structurally sound and in abundant supply. Although, in raw form, containers are dark windowless boxes (which might place them at odds with some of the tenets of modernist design...) they can be highly customizable modular elements of a larger structure. The projects below are sorted alphabetically (by company or designer's name). In addition to the container-based projects listed below we offer links to useful web sites and relevant books. Selected projects utilizing shipping containers.
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Building an above-ground pool is not the most intuitive choice when designing a home – after all, you can save space rather than displace it by burying the pool underground. In this case, though, the exception turns out to be much cooler than the rule. This backyard pool-plus-patio combination manages to define the space next to it, while also creating an elevated deck platform aside from the sunken green garden to which it is adjacent. Decked Out: Wood Patio + Above-Ground Swimming Pool