Friday, October 15, 2010

look closely....

what could this be?

mmm... curious!

I do like reading about those with funds to do so putting it towards something both inspiring and eco-future oriented!

designed by Make Architects

Bolton Council in the United Kingdom may soon see the construction of its first zero-carbon underground home. Designed by Make Architects for green enthusiast and British football star Gary Neville, the one-story, nearly 8,000 sq ft structure has been designed to be beautiful and functional while keeping energy consumption to a minimum. Text and Images from INHABITAT.COM - a lively e-mag exploring Design that will save the world!


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proposed site

Far from classification as a drab bunker, this thoughtful design not only considers its eco-impact, but keeps in tune with the tranquil and expansive meadows and hillsides which surround it. The positioning and orientation of the property was carefully thought out, building materials will be locally sourced, and traditional building methods will be used where possible. A ground source heat pump will provide the heating and photovoltaic panels and an on-site wind turbine will generate renewable energy.
Almost all of the home will be constructed into the hillside, which, according to the design firm, “enables the surrounding moorland to seamlessly flow across the roof.” The layout takes the form of a flower, with the “petals” hosting areas to eat, relax, entertain, work and play, all around a central kitchen. When lit at night, the house will leave a distinctive, glowing floral impression on the darkened landscape. Amusingly, some have compared the structure to the famed Teletubby house, which admittedly shares some aesthetic value. However, the architects at Make contend their inspirartion arose from Skara Brae, a neolithic underground settlement in Orkney.

text and images:

Read more: Gary Neville's Underground Eco Home Blends Into the Earth | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World 

I have added the images below from the cited inspiration for this architecture as I had the great pleasure of visiting this site on the Orkney Islands in 1986. A few of us hired old push bikes and went on a somewhat rainy hike across hill and dale to see what was a most amazing neolithic underground settlement. I did drawings of this place and then of artifacts found here that were housed in the local museum back in the village (if my memory serves me well!).
I found Skara Brae utterly enchanting and could not stop imagining what it would have been like to live here for a longtime afterwards. So very sculptural ... the grass and shape of the earth around the rock walled remains was quite voluptuous in appearance!
 The design above is perhaps missing some of that quality.... still interesting find this morning from Inhabitat.

File:Orkney Skara Brae.jpg
from Wikipedia: Skara Brae

 These images found here at an article on the Prehistoric village of Skara Brae at Phenomenica.

Off to work now...


Ro Bruhn said...

Wow, this type of home would be great for our climate and would also help deal with our ever constant bush fire risk. I love the light that is still able to enter the rooms.

Anonymous said...

Yes... Bushfires... it would surely be a useful idea Ro!
I imagine it would be very cosy and maybe cooler too.
Just needs to be top of the hill... flooding comes to mind after the week we've had here!
Lovely to hear from you Ro!

Robyn said...

How beautiful does this home look... inside and out.

It could be fun, but alas it won't be for us all.

Have a great weekend and thanks again Sophie for sharing such cool stuff :) x

Anonymous said... is rather magical and mysterious... it would be amazing to explore!
It requires a bit of land... you're no doubt right ... I dont see a lot of us living like this!
I did love that post of yours!!! And as I said... "go girl!"
S x
enjoy the weekend ...

Anonymous said...


I will be coming back to this image next week! I need to spend more time with it! Can't wait.

Have a great weekend!


La Dolce Vita said...

oh Sophie, this just magical and practical as well, love the floral design, gosh, just L. O. V. E. love it!! xo

Cat said...

That home is totally cool. I wouldn't mind living in one of them. I love hearing about this type of architecture or land forming, thanks for sharing.

Sally said...

Great post Sophie...I too have had the great pleasure of visiting the Orkney Isles...but never would have guessed it was the inspiration behind such a very modern home.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mary,
Quite intriguing hey?
You have a great weekend too!
S xo

Hello Caterina,
I think it taps into some strong fantasy themes... and yet as you say... so practical! And eco-orineted!!
Lovely to hear from you!
S xo

Hi Cat,
It does make you want to walk around inside it, around it...explore all angles. Its certainly an interesting area of architecture...
thanks for popping in...

loved hearing you have also spent time in this fascinating part of the world... isn't it a treat to access the inspiration and thinking behind a project.... confirmation ideas dont arrive from nowhere!
Thanks for passing through!

Theresa said...

Wow! So unique!

Anonymous said...

Hi Theresa...
Thanks for popping by!

Dom said...

impressionnant !

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Sophie! Finally back and enjoying your blog - this post is like a cool drink on a hot day, just what I needed! I'm actually traveling to the Orkney islands next year so thank you for the insightful post on the architecture. Will keep it in mind when exploring the ruins. And here's something funny to think on - did u see the Viking ship on one of the islands? A distant uncle of mine discovered it by tripping over it on a beachside stroll! My family name originates from the islands and any Dearness you meet is a direct descendent from that one little group of islands -I still have relies there who can trace us back to the 1300's!!! Xx

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Jay Dee...

Do you know what? ... when I was posting the bit about the Orkneys i remembered you 'd told me your ancestor were from there ...and I nearly sent a hello via the post!

This was the most unplanned whimsical trip ... the 1986 visit to the Orkneys... but it made a deep impression on me. People were friendly and I was quite taken by the Viking presence and the neolithic buildings. The place kind of worked on my imagination so to speak.. and anything I'd ever read seemed to float back and I could almost feel the past there!

1300's ....thats pretty amazing. They must have been resiliant people... hard winters? Love the uncle story... tripping over the Viking boat!

Its a poetic name dearness... I hope you know how to knit those famous gloves Jay Dee!

Good to hear form you...see you soon!
S xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Sophie! Yeah, I couldn't remember whether you knew or not but loved this post :) - sounds like you had a really meaningful experience there. Sometimes unplanned trips are the most enjoyable. My grandmother told me that in the winters (I think they did this at least into the early 1900's) the farmers would have one half of their long homes as the house and the other half as a stable for the cattle so that the heat generated by the cattle in winter would warm the whole building! There was, of course a thick wall between the two.
Haha! No, I don't know how to knit the gloves - I think tripping over something on a walk is much more likely though!! xx

Anonymous said...

Love the stories Jay Dee... that I think is what I loved so much abut being on the Orkneys... this sense of having stepped into layer upon layer of story!
Thats the case with most places I know seemed closer to the surface here!
Yes ...tripping over something is more likely for me as well than that amazing knitting!
S xx

ask412 said...

Hi Sophie : )
I have been in awe of the earth covered home since discovering the Chinese have built them for thousands of years. Understanding all the principles of energy saving etc.etc. I enjoyed this approach to creating a healthy home and would love to see good design applied to the earthship model. It is a little caught in the adobe style for my liking.

Wishing you well
a kindred spirit

Sophie Munns said...

Hi Paul,
just had a quick look at your website...wonderful! Must return...!
Thanks for responding and sharing your site too!
This home looks to me a little costly to build and needs a lot of land as well......Its a great conversations piece and I really loved the reference to Scara Brae. Slalllook forward to seeing what you are involved with...