“It’s fun. Living your own life, in your own way is rewarding. Following our dreams keeps our souls alive.”
This house (deemed the “Hobbit house” for obvs reasons) was built in Wales for only £3,000 (roughly $4,700 American) and fueled entirely by one man’s dream for a more self-sustainable, less impacting life for him and his family. It is made from wood, stone, straw, and uses solar panels for power. There is a compost toilet and a wood fireplace for heat.
Imagine a world where we all start building lives ourselves using less abrasive materials from the earth and upping our quality of life by minimizing. This way of life can be appealing to everyone, it just involves a little downsizing. Not to mention the creativity that goes into the architecture itself is a fairy tale come true.
Simon Dale, builder/owner/photographer/husband/father-of-two, explains the process through pictures, words and video at this website here. There is also a great article about the family’s perspective, in case you thought for even a split second that the normailty of being raised in a home like this is compromised.
“Our society is almost entirely dependent on the availability of increasing amounts of fossil fuel energy. This has brought us to the point at which our supplies are dwindling and our planet is in ecological catastrophe. We have no viable alternative energy source and no choice but to reduce our energy consumption. The sooner this change can be begun, the more comfortable it will be.
For our energy consumption to decrease we must reduce consumption and dramatically increase the productivity of our land. This will require developing infrastructure and skills to enable locally self-reliant living. The simplest, sustainable solutions involve small-scale permaculture type land management systems centred around individual or small groups of dwellings. There is significant and growing energy at the grass-roots to start implementing these low impact developments. This enthusiasm comes from a combination of intellectual concern and the innate appeal of living closer to nature. The major obstacle is access to land. The price of land with residential planning permission is not commensurate with the income from this type of living. This will change, but these projects need time to develop and reach productivity. A few people are taking direct action but the numbers are far short of the critical mass that could be realised. If allowances can be made within the planning system to grant access to land, and the right to live on it, to those wishing to live this life, we can allow a grass-roots tide of people to make real progress towards a sustainable society.”
Hobbit Home Blends Forest Fantasy & Structural Reality
When commissioned to design a place worthy of housing an extensive collection of J.R.R. Tolkien manuscripts and artifacts, an architect could easily go overboard and make a farcical movie set out of such an assignment. Instead, Peter Archer focused on the fine craft, beautiful materials and traditional construction implied by the original Hobbit-related novels.
Existing stones on the site from an aged rock wall were appropriated for use in the new structure. Custom-crafted round wooden doors add to the authenticity of the design but are also an example of the balance between fantasy and reality, with structural requirements dictating the thickness a door could be and the strength of the steel required to hinge it on a single point.
Custom patterns are etched in various places, adding to the sense of a hand-crafted approach applied to the entire building project. The end result is a fantastically rich and complex design blending modern materials and practices with traditional ones and balancing between the fictional world of the project’s inspiration with extant design styles throughout history.
Simon Dale made a hobbit home for his family for not very much money at all. Amazing and beautiful and inspiring.