Underground Architecture Solution For Rural Retreat

Often the best ideas come from the simplest concepts. In this case as Barnstaple architects we were presented with the challenge of creating a small number of bespoke accommodation units for an eco-tourism business with the brief that they should be set within the landscape to minimise visual impact. So the solution was to build into the hillside, to form what the clients describe as “luxury caves!”

The idea has taken root, (no pun intended) and the designs that we have developed with our clients will create pods that are essentially a generous hotel bedroom (self-catering was not part of the brief), with uninterrupted views from inside and out over the tranquil valley setting.

The structures appear almost as an eye within the landscape, covered in a grass roof, with arms wrapping around an outdoor space. Internally the forms are curvilinear but the structure behind is a masonry / concrete rectangle to reduce costs and simplify the process.

All being well it is hoped the scheme will be ready for the 2022 holiday season – it will add something unique to tourist accommodation available in the south west. Onto the next challenge!