A lot of lives have been touched by the Lord of the Rings films, but super fan Jim Costigan took it one step further by building his own Bag End-inspired hobbit home. The New York construction supervisor and his family spent more than six years building the energy-efficient cottage with a curved shape and lush green roof that would even make Bilbo Baggins a little bit envious.
Like millions of people, Jim Costigan was enthralled by The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Specifically, though, he was drawn to the home of Bilbo Baggins, Bag End. The curved home enveloped in greenery spoke to Costigan’s love of design. “I thought that was the coolest house I’d ever seen,” Costigan said. “Architecturally, I thought that that house in the movie was just really well-done, that it was really original. The curvatures, everything about it was unique.” Although Costigan had spent most of his career working on skyscrapers in Manhattan, he decided to re-create the charming design in his own backyard, with a cottage he now calls Hobbit Hollow.
More than just a fan’s whimsy, the ambitious builder set about to not only recreate the famed hobbit home, but to make it an earth-sheltered passive house. From the start, the entire project was integrated with energy-efficient details, including thermal bridge-free construction that provides a tightly insulated shell, as well as triple-pane thermal windows and a heat recovery ventilator.
Starting with a concrete foundation, the 1,500-square-foot home was built with various creative features that showed off his attention to hobbit detail as well as his commitment to sustainability. Just like Bag End, the exterior of the house is clad in natural stone. However, when it came to putting in the signature round door, there was a bit of a snag, because it didn’t meet Passive House standards. Working around the problem, Costigan built a circular red frame that hides the rectangular door. And of course, no hobbit home would be complete without a lush green roof that follows the curve of the design, blending it deep into the landscape.
On the inside of the home, a high barrel-vaulted ceiling gives the tiny space character and depth. The abundance of windows and skylights in every room, except the guest bathroom, flood the interior with natural light. Adding to the charm is the various geometric shapes and patterns that the family imprinted into the concrete ceiling and skylight borders themselves. As an extra nod to the beloved films, a replica sword hangs over the electric stone fireplace, a gift to Costigan from his sons.
Located in Pawling, New York, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom hobbit home sits on 1.7 acres of natural forestscape with an open-air bluestone patio in the back. From there, the family and visitors enjoy the sounds of a babbling stream that leads to an idyllic Shire-like waterfall and pond.
Images via Jim Costigan