There are really good reasons to move underground that aren't escaping nuclear annihilation or keeping a small cult of mole women from making a run for it. Here are five sprawling modern homes that have been so expertly hidden into hillsides that you may seriously consider a subterranean move. Don't believe us? Check these out.
This alpine holiday retreat was carefully cut—bunker style—into the rural hillside of a small village known for its luxurious thermal spas. The bulk of the concrete-encased living area is unseen from the outside, though the modest, visible facade takes full advantage of the outdoors, with a spread of windows that looks out onto a cozy patio (with a flame-heated hot tub, of course) and killer views of the mountains. And if you require a more clandestine exit, there's a tunnel that connects the house to a nearby barn. [See more]
This lair-like compound is cleverly camouflaged beneath the lush green surroundings, but its views of the unbelievably picturesque valley below are hardly compromised thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap around the entire exposed facade. Björk, is that you? [See more]
New South Wales, Australia
The aptly named Invisible House outside Sydney was expertly engineered to lay flush against the sloping mountain in such a way that you wouldn't recognize it as more than a slab of flat concrete until you were close enough to step inside. Interestingly, the unique aesthetic is as much a design choice as it is a necessity for habitation: any structure in this location that isn't protected from the elements in such a way would be subjected to furious winds from all angles and constant sunlight "like a furnace." [See more]
If we're being literal, this isn't actually a proper house—but there's no stopping you from living there all the same. Each of the glass-covered five cubes jutting out from the slope is sized to fit (and showcase) a single vehicle, but the whole spread could be easily transformed into a modern industrial loft, since the concrete bunker-style space that connects them all is actually quite attractive. [See more]
Overlooking the San Francisco Bay and Mount Tamalpais, this rustic modern retreat hugs the Earth at such a steep slope that from the living room it looks as though you're floating untethered above the tree line. They even managed to carve out a long outdoor lap pool in back, beneath its sprawling green roof. A lovely home no doubt, at least until you try to find any company willing to insure it from mudslides. [See more]
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. If it's as much fun as Fraggle Rock, he's more than down to live underground.