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Thread: Building a weird? place

  1. #1

    Building a weird? place

    I have this idea. I am not an architect or even a carpenter, I just happened on this site because I did a search on "alternative housing architecture." I think your site is cool and maybe someone could give me some informed feedback on whether or not my idea is a workable one.

    I live in Florida and every year we have hurricanes and similar natural entertainments. I have this notion to buy a friend's seven acres with spring-fed pond etc etc and build on it an indestrauctible habitat for me to pursue full hermit status ... a roman arch type vault design on a bit of high ground, and then bulldoze lots of dirt over the top of it, so that it is literally underground (in effect) and the various fuana etc can gambol over it without knowing I am there.

    I got the idea from military weapons storage bunkers. there are some near where I live, which are by a closed airbase. they look great with great big concrete slabs in front of a hill of green grass and big steel doors in the slabs.
    I would like every window and door in my cave to protrude from a piece of ground and be securable by sliding steel doors.

    I would sit inside and laugh at hurricanes.
    Anyone think I am thinking in an impractical way or missing some vital bit of sense?

    You may laugh at me or encourage me, but respond if you think you have anything relevant. or just say hello. I've always admired architects, good or bad.

  2. #2
    Apr 1997
    In a Van Down By the River
    If the property has a spring-fed pond on it - you'll have to deal with karst topography - which means sinkholes and a water table just below the surface soil. I've heard about backhoes falling into underground caves and springs in Florida while excavating such lots.

    Be careful.

  3. #3
    One word--FLOOD!

  4. #4
    outside of Charleston, SC, there is an island called Sullivan's Island (Sully's to locals) and at the north end is a tall sand dune. both in and on the sand dune are homes converted from former military spaces. it is the same idea you have, but in this case, the pile of sand & natural "fauna" already existed.
    note: for your site, i would greatly recommend getting an expert opinion by a soil/geology engineer's survey.

  5. #5
    Your interest and idea of constructing an earth-shelter residence is not impractical and yet not so unusual. In fact, it is often disheartening to be in an "environment" of so many buildings that do not attend to the natural qualities that are literally present within the ground in which a structure may stand. An entire sector of architecture struggles to exist, often over-shadowed by the "trendy, stylish, supersized McHouse Plan" urges of the day. This sector may be titled "earth-sheltered", "sub-terranian", "underground". This type of shelter not only provides storm-resistant features (as is your immediate concern, but also enhances the quality of a non-invasive site, sub-soil thermal balance, accoustic control, etc. While there are published books regarding this practice, the web provides many resources as well. I did a quick search for you to get you started...

    Listing of searched sites:

    Nice site for benefits & features of design:

    As far as your particular site selection? As with any well-planned design, each site has it unique characteristics, and a thorough soils study and house planning that addresses the concerns of the site, its surroundings, and its intended owner should be considered. I encourage your first inspirations and can only hope to find others that share this idea.

    Eric W. Killip

  6. #6
    There is a very unusual place in Arkoma, Oklahoma which is known as the "ARKOMA VORTEX". It is undiscribable, so I will give the Website address. www.ArkomaVortex.com

    It is definately worth checking out, especially if you enjoy weird psychedelic Art. The entire yard has been made into a Memorial to the Hippy Movement of the 60s.

    Fort Smith, AR

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