Live like a womble 3 - Door vs. hatch

Published September 2, 2010

It was a warm, sunny afternoon in August, and Mr C and I found ourselves sitting in a large back garden with a cup of tea. This is unusually civilised of us. We surveyed the extra-long grass, and discussed what size plot you would need to fit an underground bunker.

Quite big, is the answer.

We discussed the pros and cons of more than one storey, and the concept of bungalows being more expensive because they take up more land, and how this translates to the underground.

We suddenly thought that perhaps, what we need, is a regular above ground house - kitchen, bathroom, bedroom - with a big enough garden to house an underground studio. It’s the recording, and the office environment where we need the quiet, after all. It seems like a more manageable solution.

So far, we had been working on the principal of building your underground house into a cliff, but if it’s a legitimate bunker, lighting and accessibility is less important. Although, getting into it was a big topic for debate. Do you build steps down towards a front door? That way, you’re taking up a lot of extra external land, and you’re creating problems in terms of drainage and slippery steps and the like.

The other option, and my preferred, is to have a hatch, à la LOST.

The LOST hatch

How cool would that be? Of course, that would just be moving the space problem inside, because even though it’s a hatch, I don’t want to be climbing down a ladder every day. Stairs would still be required, and they would take up space. It does mean you could seal the bunker better though.


I’m still keen on the Tellytubbies house in the hills idea, but I also really like the mental image of showing guests out into the garden and just having a little trapdoor poking out of one corner.

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