Continuing the exploration of the ‘Underground House’ this time the focus is on the captivating interior. Inside the home the inspired design employs a clever combination of ancient and modern to create living spaces that ooze charm and atmosphere. As a prelude to what lies beyond, there is a second more secret entrance concealed in a nearby barn. This takes visitors through an underground corridor, providing an alternative access to the house.
Underground house bedroom interior
In keeping with the concept of ancient buildings, the interior passage ways resemble those of a mediaeval castle or fortress. Enticing and mysterious they lead the way from one awe-inspiring room to another. Although each living area has its own unique appeal and original design features, the use of unrefined building materials in the main architectural structures provide visual continuity throughout. There is also a sense of strength and sanctuary provided by the thick heavy masonry of the walls and doorways.
Living area interior
The union of old and new starts with the unusual juxtaposition of materials used in the construction. An unadorned concrete staircase is built alongside rough stone walls. Shiny stainless steel tubing remains undisguised against concrete panels in the bathroom. Sleek ultra modern kitchen units and stylish furniture co exist with the industrial grey of the concrete walls and ceilings. In living rooms, piles of randomly placed stones create steps to adjoining rooms, this is in total contrast to the geometric ordering and refinement of surrounding furnishings and structures.
In a surprising break from the bold exploration of purely utilitarian materials, one feature bedroom makes an unashamed link to the past in its Gothic styling. This room is dominated by wooden features, including a vaulted ceiling and pointed arch doorway. In this area the ceiling is lofty and gives the room a particularly light and airy appeal.
It would be easy for this underground home to appear dark, gloomy, cold and inhospitable. As in ancient times, this is prevented by the use of brightly coloured fabrics and comfortable luxurious furnishings. In addition, ‘quirky’ lighting features are used to add life and personality to the interior. Most importantly, natural light floods in to all areas from the expansive windows of the front elevation. The design of the ‘Underground House’ is an inspiration throughout, triumphant in its eclectic combination of materials, styles and historical links.
Text by Jaz