This Wild, Curvaceous Home Is Buried Beneath the Earth

This Wild, Curvaceous Home Is Buried Beneath the Earth

By Duncan Nielsen
A sunken-earth home with voluminous interiors peers out from beneath a blanket of flora.

On an empty plot amongst abutting properties, Russia-based Niko Architect created a home that feels private—without completely shuttering it away from the light of day. Vegetation blankets the home’s concrete form, and its walls sweep upwards and outwards to become roofs—nary a rectilinear line in sight. Molded floor-to-ceiling windows curve to grant panoramic views of the entirety of the backyard and swimming pool.  

Niko Architect and landscape firm Ecopochva designed a home that doesn’t play by the rectilinear rules of conventional architecture.

The landscape engulfs the strategically positioned home, hiding it from the street and from nearby neighbors. 

"The landscape flows into the building—and the building into the landscape," says Niko Architect. "It is enhanced by a green roof, on which a garden with woody and herbaceous plants and an artificial relief is organized."

A living area stacks over the bedroom on the ground floor. Both feature molded floor-to-ceiling windows that provide plenty of natural light and backyard views.

The home nestles a rear-facing courtyard that frames one of its many sculptures.

Since only the rear facade has windows, Niko Architect implemented amoeba-shaped skylights that poke out above the rooftop garden. Each is aimed along the sun’s trajectory to maximize ambient lighting.

A smattering of windows above the downstairs living area are angled to scoop up sunlight, which they cast down onto the conversation pit, dining room, and viewing area at different times of day. The other living area—a viewing deck across the courtyard and upstairs—has three windows situated to catch light in the afternoon and evening.

An aerial shot shows the lay of the heavily landscaped property, and the many angled skylights that let ambient light into the home. Each is positioned along the sun's trajectory to catch light at different times of day. 

A sweeping staircase spirals up to the second floor. A sculpture plays off the black marble floors, and a bonsai perches preciously on a rounded display ledge.

The curved, white walls and vaulted ceilings meet black, striated marble floors for a museum-like atmosphere. Throughout the home’s nearly 3,000 square feet, various sculptures and furnishings take new forms as they are bathed in shifting daylight.

In the downstairs living area, the walls sweep upwards toward skylights that protrude out and above the flora of the green roof. Next to the viewing area is a conversation pit accompanied by a hanging fireplace. A hole-punched, curving wooden panel separates the dining room.

Chunky, curvy furniture plays off the home’s form.

At the home’s entrance, a wide-mouthed, asymmetrical carport hangs open behind a fence guarding the property. From there, grand stairs flank the overgrown facade like arms, leading down living pathways to the secluded backyard. "It is interconnected with the environment, a being of organic architecture," says Niko Architect.

 Downstairs, the bedroom features wood flooring and vertical wooden slats that provide privacy from the courtyard. Accents of gold and black play off the white walls.

Dark figurines rappel from the ceiling in the black, sun-dappled bathroom. 

An asymmetrical, futuristic, and seductively lit carport faces the street, looking a bit like a set from Star Wars' Cloud City.  

Planted pathways and staircases circumvent the property.


House in the Landscape floor plan


House in the Landscape sections


A rendering shows when each skylight comes into play during the sun's journey across the sky. 

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