8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World

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By Michele Koh Morollo / Published by Dwell
Though it's not typical, building a home underground can offer an alternative way of living that may fit with the lifestyle you're seeking. It can create an extremely interesting, comfortable, and otherworldly environment—after all, rabbits, badgers, and even foxes do it.

Indeed, there's something about subterranean habitats that evoke a sense of snugness, privacy, safety, and warmth, so it’s no surprise that humans are finding ways to live beneath ground. 

Here are eight homes immersed in the earth that will fire the imaginations of all aspiring subterrestrials.  

A Home That Tunnels Through the Swiss Alps

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 1 of 8 - Looking like a burrow on the side of a mountain, Villa Vals—a Swiss vacation rental available through Boutique Homes—was designed by Architects Bjarne Mastenbroek of SeARCH and Christian Müller of CMA. The entrance to the property is through a nearby wooden barn, which has a concealed underground tunnel that runs through the mountain into the villa’s subterranean core.

Looking like a burrow on the side of a mountain, Villa Vals—a Swiss vacation rental available through Boutique Homes—was designed by Architects Bjarne Mastenbroek of SeARCH and Christian Müller of CMA. The entrance to the property is through a nearby wooden barn, which has a concealed underground tunnel that runs through the mountain into the villa’s subterranean core.

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 2 of 8 - Buried in the middle of a forest clearing in Seoul, South Korea, Sugokri Earth House by BCHO Architects has two underground courtyards that are constructed out of concrete, as well as rammed-earth walls made from the excavated soil.

Buried in the middle of a forest clearing in Seoul, South Korea, Sugokri Earth House by BCHO Architects has two underground courtyards that are constructed out of concrete, as well as rammed-earth walls made from the excavated soil.

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 3 of 8 - Also by Korean firm BCHO is Jedong Ranch, a house in Jeju Island, South Korea, that has a long staircase that leads down to an underground meditation space.

Also by Korean firm BCHO is Jedong Ranch, a house in Jeju Island, South Korea, that has a long staircase that leads down to an underground meditation space.

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 4 of 8 - Architect Bruno Despierre of Brussels-based firm B-ILD transformed a 140-square-foot, former Dutch military bunker in the Netherlands into a snug underground vacation home with multipurpose furniture  made from meranti-finished plywood. 

Architect Bruno Despierre of Brussels-based firm B-ILD transformed a 140-square-foot, former Dutch military bunker in the Netherlands into a snug underground vacation home with multipurpose furniture made from meranti-finished plywood. 

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 5 of 8 - Embedded into the top of a hill, Villa Ypsilon in the Greek seaside village of Messenia has a Y-shaped, earth-covered roof promenade that looks as if it's an extension of the terrain. 

Embedded into the top of a hill, Villa Ypsilon in the Greek seaside village of Messenia has a Y-shaped, earth-covered roof promenade that looks as if it's an extension of the terrain. 

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 6 of 8 - Nestled into an agricultural terrace in Catalonia in northeastern Spain, Casa Cova Blanca is an underground vacation home that draws in tons of light though its large, arched windows. The property is available for rent through Cool Stays.

Nestled into an agricultural terrace in Catalonia in northeastern Spain, Casa Cova Blanca is an underground vacation home that draws in tons of light though its large, arched windows. The property is available for rent through Cool Stays.

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 7 of 8 - OUTrail House by Polish architectural practice KWK PROMES has a basement level that was "carved out" of a piece of the grass-covered site. The roof has been turned into a green atrium that blends in with its grassy surroundings.

OUTrail House by Polish architectural practice KWK PROMES has a basement level that was "carved out" of a piece of the grass-covered site. The roof has been turned into a green atrium that blends in with its grassy surroundings.

8 Subterranean Homes That Are Out of This World - Photo 8 of 8 - Laertis Antonios Ando Vassiliou of LAAV Architects is working closely with ARUP to build Casa Brutale, a daring, fantastical underground house in Beirut, Lebanon, that's wedged into the edge of a cliff and features a pool on the cliff’s plateau.

Laertis Antonios Ando Vassiliou of LAAV Architects is working closely with ARUP to build Casa Brutale, a daring, fantastical underground house in Beirut, Lebanon, that's wedged into the edge of a cliff and features a pool on the cliff’s plateau.

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