October 22, 2005

London Architect Dad Builds Eco-, Kid-Friendly Dreamhouse Undergroud

michaelis_underground_slide.jpgMinimalist architect Alex Michaelis first made news when he bought a 4,000-sf vacant lot in London for 750,000. (Apparently, several centuries of concentrated building tends to deplete a city's supply of vacant lots.) Then, because local zoning boards restricted him from building anything higher than the 6-foot high wall around the property, [??!?] he designed the whole house to be underground. And incredibly eco-friendly, from the self-sustaining water and heating systems to the insulated walls, solar panels, and grass roof.

Oh, and it's beautiful, modern, and light-filled, thanks to carefully positioned windows, lightwells, skylights, reflections off of the swimming pool, and thanks to painting every built surface a blazing white...

Oh, and it's a kid's paradise, with a climbing wall, a built-in slide, play terraces, and wide open playspaces for his three (four?) kids. Oh, and the pool's optimized for kid-sized swimmers, not adults. It all adds up to make them the most popular hippie mole people in their school.

Welcome to the house of FUN
[telegraph uk headline goes one step beyond, via treehugger]
Going up the wall [telegraph, he does look much younger in the 2003 pic, tho]
Michaelis Boyd Associates, architects [michaelisboyd.com]

2 Comments

So, Greg, how are you going to convince him to sell this to you? Or design something in NY or DC for you, at least?

(Not a particularly relevant, constructive, and value-adding comment.)

Wow--what a stunning house!

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