by Katriane Hill in Architecture on Monday 21 December 2009

Vals, Switzerland, is known for their thermal baths and pristine landscape views of the Swiss Alps. Vals is not known, however, for clever underground architecture. But it is in Vals where a breathtaking home was built underground to eliminate destructive processes at land level. Designed by architectural firm SeArch and Christian Muller, the home is accessible by a a steep set of stone steps built into the incline that the home is built in. A central, circular patio is lined with large window openings, which allow for a heavy supply of natural light and impressive views of the Alpine Vista, which sits across the narrow valley. The house has all the comforts of a traditional home, but with added underground travel paths that are reminiscent of military pathways. And since the home lies underground and not on the surface, the architects have drastically reduced the need for air conditioning and heat.