This Organic, Underground Home Is a Hideaway Fit For a Hobbit

On a hilly site near Mexico City, architect Javier Senosiain has created a remarkable home inspired by the shape of a peanut.

When it was completed in 1984, the 1,873-square-foot Organic House was ahead of its time. Senosiain designed the unique home to seamlessly integrate with the natural landscape: “The green dune wraps itself around the inside spaces almost completely, rendering it almost invisible so that, from the outside, all one sees are grass, bushes, trees, and flowers.”

 

Doors, Exterior, and Swing Door Type The floor is covered by a carpet that’s the same color as the walls.

 

“To take a walk in the garden is to walk over the roof of the house itself without even realizing it,” says Senosiain. The Mexican architect is well known for his organic architecture—to date, he has built houses inspired by the shape of a snake, a shark, a flower, and a mushroom.

 

Outdoor, Rooftop, Trees, and Grass Trees, bushes, and flowers create a green barrier that provides privacy.

Windows and Picture Window Type The living room features a hand-shaped chair by Mexican artist Pedro Friedeberg, and a Bubble chair by Eero Aarnio.

 

Modeled after the shape of a peanut shell, the house is composed of two cavernous oval spaces connected by a narrow passageway. One chamber contains the private areas, which are used mainly at night, while the brighter chamber contains the social areas.

 

Kitchen The smoothly sculpted interior flows organically from room to room.

Outdoor, Rooftop, and Front Yard The Organic House looks like a set of rolling hills when viewed from afar.

Windows and Picture Window Type The living room resembles a large eye with a curved window and an eyelash-like eave that protects against dust, wind, sun, and rain.

 

Although the interior of the house feels like an underground cave, it’s connected with the lush landscape by a large window.

“The house, which includes a living room, dining room, and kitchen, and another place for sleeping, with a dressing room and bath, was based on the elemental functions required by man: a place to live, and fellowship with others,” says Senosiain.

 

Windows and Picture Window Type South-facing windows capture the winter sun while framing the best views of the garden. 

 

Taking into consideration the impact of bioclimatic conditions on inhabitants’ physical and psychological well-being, Senosiain used trees and bushes to create green barriers that filter harsh sunlight, keep the interiors cool, and protect the house from dust and noise pollution. The Organic House’s grassy green roof protects against heat and cold to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.

 

Doors, Exterior, and Swing Door Type The home's walls, ceilings, and built-in furnishings are made of ferro-cement coated with a paste of marble powder and white cement.

Living Room, Chair, Bench, and Coffee Tables The living room features a bench filled with small polyurethane balls that conform to the shape and weight of the sitter.

Living Room and Bench The kitchen features burners, a sink, and built-in pantry shelves.

Bedroom and Bed A tunnel leads from the living chamber to the private sleeping areas.

 

Upon descending a spiraling staircase, one arrives at the first oval chamber where the living, eating, and sleeping areas are located. From here, a narrow tunnel leads towards the second chamber where the sleeping nooks are located.

 

Living Room, Bookcase, and Bench Cubbyholes in the bedroom provide storage for clothing.Bath Room The bathroom features a sculptural sink and shower.

Bath Room A skylit shower.

 

“This semi-buried house turned out to be sunnier and brighter than conventional houses because the windows can be placed anywhere, and the domes allow the entrance of sunlight from above. Ventilation is facilitated by the aerodynamic form of the dwelling, which allows free circulation of air throughout,” says Senosiain.

The architect sought to create spaces adaptable to the human body, “similar to the womb, an animal’s lair, the troglodytes who carved a niche for themselves out of the earth, and the igloo,” he adds.

 

Organic House roof diagram

Organic House interior diagram

Organic house cross section diagram

 

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