This little Hobbit-hole, which is a real family home in Wales, was built to strict environmental guidelines about 3 years ago. The website for the building has some great shots of its construction, using local materials like found wood, stone, soil, bales of straw and much mud. I really admire a family that can let their imaginations go, and have the skills and guts to just dive in and change their lives so completely.
From the site: “You are looking at pictures of our family home in Wales. It was built by myself and my father in law with help from passers by and visiting friends. 4 months after starting we were moved in and cosy. I estimate 1000-1500 man hours and £3000 put in to this point. Not really so much in house buying terms (roughly £60/sq m excluding labour).”
The project reminds me a little of an episode of Grand Designs that Shannon and I watched a few years ago, and that we found totally inspirational. The house that was featured was built by a woodsman in the New Forest in Sussex, completely by hand with help from friends. He is one of the few people who are allowed to live and work in this protected area. His business is making charcoal from fallen wood. We’re talking a simple life, literally living off the land, and spent mostly in tents ( before and until construction was completed). The house he built was made so simply, constructed from a-frames of tree trunks, filled out with straw bales and plastered then whitewashed. The results were stunning. Really inspirational. And the bitter irony (or beauty) of the home is that no one else will ever be allowed to live there. Planning permission allows only for him, and the house will have to be destroyed if he ever leaves or dies.