7 'Hobbit Homes' around the world
From simple creations in hillsides to more dramatic cliffside abodes, here are 7 dwellings that would make J.R.R. Tolkien proud.
While J.R.R. Tolkien's hobbits of Middle Earth are rooted in fantasy, their preferred style of building has started catching on here in the real world. Think of a hobbit house, and images of round doors, curved wood beams, warm fires and structures built into hillsides instantly come to mind. Designers and architects all around the world have embraced this style of building, which offers tremendous savings for both heating and cooling, as well as stunning integration with the surrounding nature. Below are a few of these beautiful creations that any human (or hobbit) would be perfectly at home in.
The Hobbit Treehouse, Orcas Island, Wash.
Located on Orcas Island in Washington State, you can rent this gorgeous hobbit house. (Photo: Suzanne Dege'/The Hobbit House)
If hobbits were ever interested in leaving behind their hillside abodes and moving to the trees, the end result would probably be quite similar to Suzanne Dege's "Hobbit House." Located on Orcas Island in Washington State, the three circular pods are all connected by hallways, decks, and bridges – evoking a certain charm reminiscent of the Ewok Village in "Return of the Jedi."
Dege' (whose name includes an apostrophe) purchased the playful structure (originally built by the legendary natural builder, SunRay Kelley) in 2002. She spent the next eight years fixing it up and now rents the property. The reviews of those who have stayed there range from "enchanting and cozy" to "breathtaking and secluded." In other words, a place Bilbo Baggins could certainly call home.
Hobbit House in the Hill, Wales, U.K.
Simon Dale built his Hobbit House on a budget of less than $4,500. (Photo: Simon Dale/Being Somewhere)
Likely the most famous woodland home of them all, Simon Dale and Jasmine Saville's self-built "Hobbit House" took about four months to build. The home, which uses straw bales for insulation, was made using recycled and natural materials, and built with "maximum regard for the environment." Dale adds that it's also the kind of project that he believes is accessible to anyone.
"The main tools used were a chainsaw, hammer and 1-inch chisel, little else really," he writes. "I was not a builder or carpenter, my experience was only having had a go at one similar house two years before and a bit of mucking around in-between."
While Dale and his family no longer live in this gorgeous little home (having left it, he writes, to the woodland workers who sometimes pass through the area), he has built another, equally beautiful natural home called "The Undercroft."
The Hermit House, Herzliya, Israel
Nissim Kahlon's expansive earthen cliff-side home was the subject of a 2014 documentary titled "Appollonian Story." (Photo: Moscovitch/Bronfield/Apollonian Story)
Situated on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, The Hermit House is an earthen residence built completely by hand by designer and creator Nissim Kahlon. Since 1970, Kahlon has been burrowing deep into a cliffside under Apollonia National Park, using only natural materials to create dozens of chambers and structures.
“I take nothing and build something,” he said in a 2012 interview. For the past 40 years, he's continued to expand his cliffside dwelling, taking breaks from excavating to decorate entire chambers with mosaics made from recycled materials.
Curious visitors to Apollonia National Park will be happy to know that Kahlon, when available, is always happy to show off his beautiful creation. For those interested in learning more, directors Ilan Moscovitch and Dan Bronfeld profiled Kahlon's home in the 2014 documentary "Apollonian Story."
The Hobbit Cottage, Chester Valley, Pa.
Designed by architect Peter Archer, this hobbit-themed cottage was created as a personal museum for a collector of J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia. The 600-square-foot building uses recycled stones from the property, clay tiles handmade in France, and a 54-inch, 200-pound door with a knob appropriately located in the center. Inside are various figurines, books, swords and other items from the owner's 40-year-old collection.
"We weren't going to do a Hollywood interpretation. We wanted it to be timeless," Archer told the New York Daily News. "It was built in 2004 but looking at it, you could think it was from 1904, or 1604."
Hobbit House, Vals, Switzerland
This beautiful home built into a hillside in the Swiss village of Vals is something a hobbit with a penchant for modernist design might have created. Architecture firms SeARCH and Christian Müller collaborated on the design, which makes use of a massive elliptical opening for both natural light, a massive patio and sweeping views of the mountains. Further adding to its allure is the fact that its main entrance is hidden in a nearby old barn, with guests having to traverse a tunnel to make it to the main living area.
Inside, the home features a full kitchen, dining area, guest room and an entertainment area. As Inhabitat points out, building underground also allowed the architects to "almost completely eliminate" the need for both heating and cooling. Electricity is provided via hydroelectric power from a nearby reservoir.
Le Troglo Hobbit Home, Eastman, Quebec
Candles and a wood stove are provided for this off-grid Hobbit cottage outside Quebec. (Photo: Entre Cimes et Racines)
For those interested in a true rustic adventure, you can book this gorgeous hobbit-inspired eco lodge located in Eastman, Quebec. As with all of the enchanting homes featured on the site, this one features absolutely no running water or electricity; a quality that one reviewer said "takes a little adapting."
Once you embrace your new off-grid lodging, however, the beauty and charm of this little cottage (perfect for up to four people) apparently offers the perfect means to disconnect – with available clean water from a well, a dry, composting toilet, logs for the stove, and all kitchen amenities like utensils, bottle openers, and salad spinners. And for those who can't bear to stay in Middle Earth for too long, a shared pavilion with wireless internet access is only a short walk away.
The Hobbit House, Sikhio, Thailand
This hobbit house, roughly three hours outside Bangkok, Thailand, can accommodate 2-4 people. (Photo: Chanikul/Airbnb)
Prefer a hobbit hole in a more tropical climate? This Tolkien-inspired property in Thailand features four rooms, a spacious living area, round doors, beautifully crafted beams and "Lord of the Rings"-themed costumes. While those who have rented the property say the journey to the location is something of an adventure itself (roughly four hours from Bangkok by bus), the payoff is described as "beautiful" and "amazing."
For those with larger parties, the owner is promising to complete additional units later this year; forming what may be the first hobbit village outside of Hobbiton itself.
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