Faced with height restrictions when building his family home in London, architect Alex Michaelis decided to go underground instead. Observing a 6-foot limit, he created a light-filled, spacious home that uses the lower climes of the site to achieve the designer's goals. includes sustainable building strategies such as a green roof, solar panels, radiant heat, thermal wool insulation and double-glazed windows. This home is also amazingly kid-friendly, with a slide built alongside the staircase, and a child-sized natural indoor pool that's fed with clean, drinkable water from a borehole 300 feet down.
A self-proclaimed advocate of eco-friendly design, Michaelis did his best to source materials responsibly, bringing them in from all over Europe. When scanning the list of environmentally-conscious construction choices, though, I couldn’t help but question the impact of digging into the earth in order to essentially build a mansion without breaking the rules. Michaelis did incorporate a number of sustainable materials and practices into its construction, from the sedum- and thyme-covered green roof to the solar panels on the carport, which charge the family’s electric car. This eco-friendly home is sleek and elegant; a perfect example of how eco-conscious building doesn’t have to skimp on style. As Michaelis said during his interview with Treehugger: “…you don’t have to wear sandals to do this sort of thing.”
Images via Michaelis Boyd