Living Underground in Style

Plot #35 of the Ordos Project is not your typical villa. You won’t find it in Spain, France, or Italy. This one is in Inner Mongolia. The flat landscape is known for some of the most amazing blue skies on Earth but living there is harsh with high winds and extreme temperature grades.

Architect Juan Pablo Maza created a large underground home to take advantage of the ground’s natural insulation but the most striking feature is the suspended living area above ground surrounded by a forest of beams. A single stairway twists its way up making even the Apple Cube store in NYC seem complacent. Absolutely gorgeous.

Designer: Juan Pablo Maza via Arch Daily


  • Keith says:

    The design looks very soul-less. I couldn’t imagine this being a home. Besides, what is with the beams obscuring your view when, as the reviewer said, “The flat landscape is known for some of the most amazing blue skies on Earth.”

  • nc26 says:

    Very nice, this could revolutionise the way we build our homes and how we live.
    Utilising the grounds natural heat means there wont be any extra expenses for energy > 0 C02 > sustainable > save money πŸ™‚
    i think i like this guys thinking (y)

  • M.S.W. says:

    Perhaps the home owner is a big Star Wars fan and the poles remind him/her of the atmospheric condensors on the Lar’s moisture farm πŸ˜‰

  • berm housing is quite effective, my thoughts on this design would be to make the whole thing slide up and down on the poles. This could be done with screw jacks and the utilities plumbed in with flex hose like the dutch use on their floating homes.

    • M.S.W. says:

      That would be most interesting. Although the owner might get the occasional “pole dancing” joke all to often πŸ˜‰

  • DannyB says:

    Anyone seeing what I’m seeing with this? Why can’t the living “unit” drop underground. I’m reading “harsh winds and extreme temp..” and it seems a natural to have this living unit underground most the time, but with an expandable stairway on the out side of the living area, it could easily climb the poles to reach the current height it’s at there. Technically very possible.

  • jeff says:

    That would work great for hurricane season.

  • lito says:

    what an excellent ideas in making the design of the house, i appreciate it.

  • DannyB says:

    I just had another great thought on this home. Yes, I’m a little obsessed with the design I believe πŸ˜‰

    I’m thinking the main living unit could not only rise above the surface, but move to 4 different levels. Above surface (floating in air), floor even with surface, floor just below surface, and then finally, one more basement level below that. Very possible with hydraulics or long screws as mentioned above.

    Why would you do this?

    Imagine riding through the desert in a Jeep (or other desert vehicle of your choice). As you approach your compound all one can see is this vision of very tall white poles anchored into the ground. You wonder what it could possibly be?

    With the press of a remote, ONE of the white poles lowers into the ground. The Jeep moves forward into the space it is now allowed to enter. Surrounding itself with the poles. Once in the middle, the pole that lowered itself now raises up into the sky. Essentially locking the Jeep into it’s own protective ‘cage’.

    With another press on a remote, the living unit lowers into the ground. Once “in” the ground, you see the other living areas surrounding you, all protected by glass walls, and glass doors, protecting them from the harsh environment… all inviting you to exit your Jeep and enter the main house.

    Once in, you are welcomed by your computer which has already turned on your lights and started your fresh air purification systems (and why not some soft music as well to top it off).

    Once in any of the surrounding living areas, the living unit rises up to create the ONE living space that is the entire house. It seals out the harsh environment above and opens up a home with a controlled, more pleasant environment.

    Then, when desired, the living unit could rise, with the Jeep still on the ‘roof’, up to ground level for fresh air or scenery. As well, you could rise yet another level up for a spectacular view.

    Using the roof of the living unit as a parking area also protects the vehicle into the night. It can’t be removed without the one “secret” security pole being lowered into the ground, allowing the vehicle to drive off.

    Ok… wild imagination, but very possible. When can I move in?

    Dan B
    Carlsbad, CA

  • amey says:

    aesthetic wise design is attrcts the vision… differnet but i dont think this is flexible enough for good functionality…

  • sansani says:

    Villa Savoye of Lecorubsier relodad, but badly done…. it is a dull rip off!

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