6) The ‘authentic’ Hobbit House by Peter Archer (in Chester County, USA) –
While we are used to the green-turfed Hobbit holes depicted in Peter Jackson’s movie adaptations, architect Peter Archer had taken a rather purist side for his Hobbit Home design. Inspired directly from J.R.R Tolkien’s own sketches, this bucolic cottage in Pennsylvania generates the effect of being ‘cut into the hills’ by being intentionally flanked by stone components. The lore-inspired authenticity also continues on the inside with mahogany-made arched ‘butterfly’ windows, fir-crafted curved rafters and of course a comfortable fireplace with clay tiles and stucco finish.
7) Simon Dale’s off-grid Hobbit House (in West Wales, UK) –
A snug little project that has received a lot media attention over the years, Simon Dale’s off-grid ‘smial’ was entirely built for a budget of just $4,600, and that too under five months. In a way, the sustainable design alludes to vernacular architecture, with most of the building materials being sourced locally from the surrounding woodlands. The interiors also mirror this essence of comfort and fairy-tale familiarity with its quaint decor and dimly-lit spaces.
8) Dolder House (in Widen, Switzerland) –
Another incredible architectural specimen from Peter Vetsch (founder of Vetsch Architektur), the Dolder House is built along a south-facing steep slope in the tiny municipality of Widen, Switzerland. And in spite of the design’s ‘meta’ similarity to the earlier covered Earth House, the residence is actually a unique creation from Vetsch, as it exhibits multiple floors. The overall natural essence of the scope also continues inside the house with the organic sculptural pillars (from artist Bruno Weber) that depict various fabled animals along their individual capitals.
9) The Sod Houses of Iceland –
The Scandinavians of Norway and Iceland have nigh perfected the method of building ‘Hobbit Homes’ for almost a thousand years. These so-called sod houses utilize a layer of green turf over their roofing systems, thus endowing the dwellings with warm insulation. According to experts, the first layer of sod (around 3-inches thick) is laid on a bark framework with the grass upside down, so that it could prevent the outside rainwater from directly damping the bark logs. The second thicker layer (of around 6-inches) of sod is then positioned above it, with the characteristic lush grass-layer projecting out. This ultimately verdant facade is generally held in place by two horizontal logs along the eaves.
10) The ‘hidden’ Eco Village (in Preseli mountains, Wales, UK) –
The Eco Village makes for an interesting episode, as it was actually a survey plane that managed to spot this hidden settlement of the Preseli mountains, in Wales. The community was originally set up back in 1993, and the people there aimed to attain self-sufficiency via low-impact structures and solar panels. However, on discovering the site after 5 years, the officials of the region didn’t find any planning permits for the villagers’ green endeavor – and so the settlement was ordered to be bulldozed. Fortunately, it ended on a good note for the community when the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority finally managed to offer them a genuine planning permit.