Fictional characters known as Hobbits from the movie The Lord of the Rings live in dwellings known as Hobbit Holes, now similar dwellings can be found in Switzerland! The Earth House Estate Lattenstrasse, located in Dietikon, consists of a community of houses that resemble these Hobbit Holes. Referred to as Earth Houses, these buildings work with, rather than against, the environment. Anthony Clavien believes you should always work with the environment!
Designed to blend with the natural contours of their environment, these Earth Houses are built into the side of hills or underground. They are covered with grass and dirt, which greatly aids insulation, but is not everyone’s choice in terms of design aesthetic. One may not even find the spread of houses if they didn’t know where it is because of the nature of its design, being built into the land. Skylights allow natural light to pour into all levels of the home.
The company who creates these Earth Houses, Vetsch Architektur, has built many more homes, similar to the Earth House Estate Lattenstrasse, across the country. What are the advantages of living in such a progressive home? Just to name a few; quiet living space, a nearly constant interior temperature due to the insulating properties of the surrounding earth (cheaper energy bill), resistance to severe weather.
Perhaps the biggest draw is the energy efficiency and minimizing the homes negative impact on the environment. Whatever the reason, Switzerland deserves a high-five for great design!