Top 10 Highlights
There must be something very comforting about living underground, something very womb-like. Of course most people who live underground are trying to escape fierce daytime temperatures and earth is one of the best insulators there is.
While man has been living in caves and underground dwellings for thousands of years, it’s only more recently that stunning architectural design has created underground houses that are truly exceptional places to live.
10. Underground Home, Las Vegas
Where else but Las Vegas would you expect to find a disused Cold War Bunker remodelled into a glamorous underground home complete with lighting that mimics the time of day?
Set 26 feet underground, this enormous house has 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms and a ‘backyard’ complete with shed, fake trees and lighting that reflects the time of day upstairs. This is anything but a damp, dingy, pokey bunker in the ground, this is the real underground deal.
9. Adirondack Mountains, New York
This underground architectural marvel comprises a large home as well as a separate underground gallery and partially underground pool. Out in the gorgeous surroundings are walking trails, a boathouse by the lake and two very modern guest houses.
There are other underground bunkers in these parts but none quite match the architectural style and size of this impressive underground dwelling.
8. Underground Houses, Switzerland
It seems the Swiss like their underground houses to look like their cheeses, full of round holes. These are perhaps the quaintest and most cave like of homes, resembling the hobbit towns we read about in the Tolkien books.
Here the brightly lit living areas look out through large windows surrounding a beautiful pond. Protection from the wind makes this a great little sun trap and a nice place to laze away the hours. The winter is a different matter of course, but the insulating earth keeps these homes warm and inviting.
7. Cooper Pedy, Australia
Cooper Pedy is a small town in outback South Australia that turns 100 next year. The surrounding opal fields provide most of the gem quality opals in the world and the town is commonly referred to as the Opal Capital of the World.
To escape the brutal daytime heat most of the permanent residents of Cooper Pedy live underground in ‘dugouts’ cut into the silt and sandstone and many of these homes end up being living spaces that are not only cool to live in, but incredibly comfortable and serene.
6. Underground House, Antiparos, Greece
This large and dramatic underground house fits into the surrounding landscape like a hand in a glove, popping up where it makes sense to take advantage of the stunning sea views.
Like most underground houses this one provides a cool oasis away from the hot midday sun keeping its occupants comfortable all year round.
5. Cappadocia, Turkey
The Cappadocia region of Central Turkey is about as ancient as it gets with its recorded history going back at least 600 years before Christ to the Persians and Alexander the Great. Today it is a major tourist area thanks to the dramatic landscape and ‘fairly chimneys’ of rock that have been used as dwellings here for thousands of years.
Although much of the region is World Heritage Listed many of the underground homes are still in use, some as accommodation for tourists. What better way to learn how the ancients lived here.
4. Civita di Bagnoregio, Italy
This absolutely beautiful underground house is carved into the volcanic stone near the village of Civita di Bagnoregio in central Italy. If the wide stone garden overlooking the surrounding hills isn’t enough to grab your attention the underground pool is sure to capture your heart.
The tunnels and caverns were carved into the rock by the Romans and added to over the centuries making this house not only a great underground home, but a historic example of how people have lived under the earth for thousands of years.
3. Matmata, Tunisia
Located on the Mediterranean coast of northern Africa, Tunisia is something of an underground house mecca with the troglodyte homes at Matmata being great examples of how people have lived here for centuries. The sandstone geology is soft enough to allow caves to be excavated by hand but remain perfectly stable over time.
What we love about these underground houses are the courtyards that provide a place for community activities and, in this case, a well. A perfect place to live away from the heat and sandstorms of the desert above.
2. The Book House, Spain
The Book House, the name the locals gave this place because of the two dramatic walls that rise from the top of the home, is surrounded by olive groves, a lake and spectacular views of the countryside. A very special place to build a very special home.
Underground, the house continues to surprise with its sparse lines and light that streams in through the courtyard and the curved openings that break up the roof. This is no ordinary cave.
1. Underground House, Paraguay
While most of this house is under the earth there are some stunning areas that pop out above the ground to let everyone know what this house is all about. Clean modern lines, beautiful use of stone, steel and glass and lush grass leading over to the deep blue pool.
Living underground in this hot climate makes a lot of sense and the living area is well exposed to benefit from cross breezes, particularly when they come across the cool pool. As far as underground homes go, this one really has the lot.