This Underground House Gets Plenty of Sunlight

Check out a unique home for sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. Built by an engineer for his own family during the energy crisis of the 1970s, it doesn't appear to be much from a distance. All you can see is a garage, a solar array, and what could, to the unknowing eye, might be a large swimming pool. But then you get closer and realize that "swimming pool" is a large sunken terrace, the entrance to an underground home! This design addresses the biggest concern about underground living, the lack of sunlight. The sunken courtyard is big enough to provide sunlight to all the rooms surrounding it. The living space is around this square, with 10-foot-tall glass fronting every room for light. There are blinds for light control, although they aren't necessary for privacy as the entire structure is below ground level and out of sight to even the closest neighbors.

The biggest benefit of underground living is natural temperature control, crucial in Arizona. Whatever electricity you need is solar. But there's also the lack of exterior maintenance. The grounds above are xeriscaped, while lush plants are tended in the courtyard. There are five bedrooms and four baths, but the layout is such that rooms can be redesignated as needed. The only rooms without windows are the bathrooms and the laundry room. The part of the house furthest from the windows is a corridor four feet deep all around (not shown in the floor plan), for closets, utilities, storage, and access to other parts of the house. It could be good for hiding in case of the zombie apocalypse.

Notice "master bedroom 1" has not only a bathroom, but a living room and kitchen in it. That and the 3,300-square-foot interior explain why this house is listed at $2.1 million.

The underground home might remind you of Uncle Lars and Aunt Beru's home on Tatooine. But if they had had an underground storage corridor around their house, they might still be with us today. See 50 images of this home at its real estate listing, including floor plans and images from its 1979 construction.

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