Homes inspired by movies (e.g. Up) and cartoons (e.g. The Simpsons) are nothing new, but the underground dwellings of J.R.R. Tolkien's nature loving creatures continue to enchant designers and builders. And as Hurricane Irene moves up the East Coast, hunkering down in a cozy, protected hollow sounds good right about now. A speedy roundup of a few hobbit-inspired and hobbit-worthy structures:
The Hobbit House of Montana
Located in northwest Montana, the Hobbit House is a 1,000-square-foot structure built into a hill, on a 20 acre site. Other homes of imaginary creatures from the Lord of the Rings trilogy are scattered throughout the idyllic landscape, including a troll house, additional hobbit homes, and tiny fairy houses.
Completed in the fall of 2010, the Hobbit House is a guest house which you can rent for $245 a night. The furniture is rustic and handmade but the modern, very un-hobbit like conveniences include granite counters and a state of the art audiovisual system.
The mid-century modern middle earth home
Designed by William Morgan in 1975, the Dune House is a subterranean duplex built within an actual dune in Florida. The low lying structure takes advantage of the ocean views and protected terrain. The naturally vegetated exterior also provides natural warming and cooling insulation. The curved interiors are references to the architect's days in the navy, but remarkably resemble a hobbit home.
For hobbits of the future
For a lighter hobbit experience, Architects of Air have designed and installed luminaria for the past decade. Their luminaria are inflatable cave-like rooms that can be zipped together to create connected caverns and tunnels. Bouncier and more colorful than the usual underground den, the pneumatic domes still provide the cozy feel of a hobbit's burrow.