As promised before, here some more “weird & wonderful” houses that I recently came across in the interweb. The first one featured below is ’Bunker 599′ by Dutch firms Atelier de Lyon and Rietveld Landscape. This project is part of the overall strategy of Rietveld Landscape / Atelier de Lyon to make a
unique part of dutch history accessible and tangible for a wide variety of visitors, laying bare two secrets of the new dutch waterline (NDW) – a military line of defence in use from 1815 until 1940 protecting the cities of Muiden, Utrecht, Vreeswijk and Gorinchem by means of intentional flooding.
A seemingly indestructible bunker with monumental status is sliced open. The design thereby opens up the minuscule interior of one of ndw’s 700 bunkers, the insides of which are normally cut off from view completely. In addition, a long wooden boardwalk cuts through the extremely heavy construction. It leads visitors to a flooded area and to the footpaths of the Adjacent natural reserve. The pier and the piles supporting it remind them that the water surrounding them is not caused by e.g. the removal of sand but rather is a shallow water plain characteristic of the inundations in times of war.
The next extraordinary house that I would like to feature in this series is an underground house in the Swiss Alps: Cavernous but wide open, dark and heavy but bright and spacious, this incredible underound house is the ultimate expression of architectural opposites fused into a single spectacular earthen living structure buried in the mountainous ground of the Swiss Alps.
Rather than wrapping outward around the home, the exterior facade circles inward and faces an oval forecourt – a curved impression in the ground like the absent space left behind by a mysterious giant egg. From within, this odd opening frames amazing views of the surrounding green hills and distant white mountains as well as providing a sense of enclosure and security for residents within the home and front courtyard area – a one-sided yet stunning view as opposed to the normal full-surround sights normally expected of a mountain home. Constructed of stone and concrete, the house feels solid and safe inside and out – yet manages to have copious openings to allow natural light to flow effortlessly into every interior space. Wood accents bring in further natural elements but also provide colorful textured highlights against the more neutral gray of the core structure.
First three images courtesy Atelier de Lyon and Rietveld Landscape.