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20 Incredible Examples of Underground Architecture

May 14, 2023

Underground architecture refers to the construction of structures beneath the ground level. This type of architecture is considered to be a great solution for many different situations, ranging from mining to environmental and energy conservation. Underground structures are also less visible, providing a degree of secrecy or exclusivity. In this article, we present 20 incredible examples of underground architecture.

1. The Coober Pedy homes

Coober Pedy is a town located in South Australia. This region is sparsely populated, so the early settlers had to build their homes underground to protect themselves from the harsh environment. They dug cave-like structures into the red sandstone cliffs to create their homes, which stayed cool in the summer and were protected from the heat in the winter.

2. The Seattle Public Library

The Seattle Public Library, located in Seattle, Washington, is designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. The library features an underground section. The library has a glass canopy and a slanted wall that opens out towards the city.

3. The Mary Rose Museum

The Mary Rose Museum, located in Portsmouth, England, is a museum that displays the remains of the Tudor warship, the Mary Rose. The museum is housed underground, with the ship being displayed in a dry dock that sits above it.

4. Villa Vals

Villa Vals, located in Vals, Switzerland, is an underground house that is built into a hillside. The house is designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape. The house features large windows that provide natural light, while also giving the residents stunning views of the mountains surrounding Vals.

5. The Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in Poland, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The salt mine was a source of income for hundreds of years and has been open to the public since the 19th century. The mine features underground chapels, salt sculptures, and a salt lake which visitors can explore.

6. The Batcave

The Batcave is a fictional underground complex featured in the Batman comic book series. It was designed to be the perfect hideout for Batman, with features such as a secret entrance and a Batmobile storage area.

7. The Cu Chi Tunnels

The Cu Chi Tunnels are located in Vietnam and were used during the Vietnam War. They were used as a means for the Viet Cong to move around undetected. The complex includes living quarters, weapons factories, hospitals, and more.

8. The House on the Hill

The House on the Hill, located in Warsaw, Poland, is a unique house that was built into the side of a hill. The house is small but has a cozy and charming feel to it. The house boasts a green garden area on top of the structure, which is accessed via a spiral staircase.

9. The Bunker Hill Monument

The Bunker Hill Monument, located in Charlestown, Massachusetts, is a 221-foot-tall granite obelisk that marks the site of the Battle of Bunker Hill. The monument has an observation deck that provides visitors with stunning views of Boston.

10. The Underground Art Gallery

The Underground Art Gallery, located in Romania, is a unique gallery that features underground art exhibits. The gallery is located beneath the streets of Bucharest and has a unique cave-like atmosphere.

11. The Stockholm Metro

The Stockholm Metro, located in Sweden, is one of the longest underground systems in the world. The metro features a series of striking underground stations. Each station is unique in design and features artwork by various artists.

12. The Eisenhower Executive Office Building

Located in Washington, D.C., the Eisenhower Executive Office Building is a building that was constructed underground. It was built during the 1870s and was home to many government offices.

13. The Underground Temple

The Underground Temple, located in the Shingon sect in Japan, is a Buddhist temple that is carved into the side of a mountain. The temple boasts a series of statues, including a large statue of Buddha, which stands at the entrance of the temple.

14. The Cavern Club

The Cavern Club, located in Liverpool, England, is a famous music venue that was housed in a cave. The cave was originally used as a wine cellar before becoming a popular venue for local musicians.

15. The Ecodome

The Ecodome, located in Iran, is a sustainable house that is built underground. The house is designed to be energy-efficient and features a solar-powered water heating system. The Ecodome also has a garden that provides food for the homeowners.

16. The Underwater Park

The Underwater Park, located in Austria, is a unique park that is situated underwater. The park features a series of attractions such as a playground, a slide, and an underwater tunnel.

17. The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

The Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, located in Seattle, Washington, features an underground train system that connects passengers between terminals. The trains are fully automated and run every few minutes.

18. The Moulin de la Galette

The Moulin de la Galette, located in France, is an old windmill that has been converted into a bar. The bar is located underground and features a cozy interior.

19. The Drach Caves

The Drach Caves, located in Spain, are a series of caves that are said to be over 11 million years old. The caves include an underground lake, which visitors can take boat rides on.

20. The Lowline

The Lowline, located in New York City, is a proposed underground park. The park would be situated beneath the streets of Manhattan's Lower East Side and would feature a series of green spaces and public facilities.

In conclusion, underground architecture has become an innovative way of constructing buildings, utilizing natural resources and providing solutions to various environmental issues. With these incredible and awe-inspiring examples of underground architecture, the future of innovative urban design seems very bright and promising.


I enjoy designing and curating experiences both virtually and in 3-dimensional reality.
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