Tales of the underworld – homes below the ground
The vast majority of the urban development we see and discuss at .id (along with our local government clients) occurs above ground.
Planners talk of low, medium and high density dwellings, where typically a high density dwelling is one that exists within a complex of 3 storeys or more, above the ground.
But, due to environmental reasons (conservation of energy) , location, and other factors, there are many interesting dwellings that are constructed below ground too.
Perhaps the most famous examples in Australia exist in the town of Coober Pedy in SA, where many of the dwellings are constructed underground to provide a measure of insulation from the searing temperatures in summer (and also, presumably, to provide an opportunity to look for opals while excavating the home site). However, far from basic accommodation, some even include swimming pools.
While in the USA, many of the former Cold War missile silos are being converted into accommodation – and some of it is pretty upmarket!
This former missile silo in Kansas is being re-purposed into an underground “skyscraper” (should that be groundscraper?) consisting of a number of high-end apartments.
Price – each floor is a cool $2m, and deposits have been placed on all of them.
Or maybe you fancy a “Bond villian style” hidden underground lair – consisting of just one dwelling– such as this one in upstate New York.
So – want to buy one?
There are more available – it’s estimated at the peak of the cold war, the US had over 1000 missile silos, (it’s hard to find an official figure) of which about 500 are now no longer in use and are slowly being decommissioned – and are put up for sale.
With Australia’s climate, there are certainly some advantages to constructing dwellings (or at least part of dwellings) underground, yet even the concept of a cellar is rare in Australia, especially in homes built recently. (with the exception of wine cellars!)
What do you think? Please add your comments below.
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