Keeping out of sight with below ground housing and parks

Published June 17, 2012

Recently, an underground house in the Swiss Alps started doing the rounds on the web. The house has one side facing out to the world, similar to the property in the Grand Designs episode I live-blogged about previously. The rest is buried underground so as not to prove an eye-sore in the beautiful landscape.

Swiss Alps underground house

Apparently, Swiss planning laws say you have to have a timber frame version of the building put up on site before they will grant it. For this underground house, they skipped that part!

The inside isn’t decorated to my taste, but they do seem to have done a great job getting light into all the rooms - even where grey walls dominate. The only thing I’m not sure about is the barn entrance to the property. Seems a bit of a letdown considering how fancy it is inside. Loads more pictures available here thanks to photographer Iwan Baan.

Meanwhile, a Kickstarter project that totally passed me by is of a fantastic underground park. Called the Lowline, the park intends to bring green park spaces to New York, where there is very little room for it, by making use of an underground trolley station (I don’t really know what that is).

It’s like the Highline, which I also really like the idea of. Recycling in action! What appeals to me in this one, though, is the redistribution of sunlight idea - enough for photosynthesis to still occur? That’s excellent!

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