Property: Chess Valley African ‘burrow’

PUBLISHED: 12:52 27 May 2014

Walnut Burrow

Walnut Burrow


Around 5,000 tonnes of soil were excavated to build a £2.5m subterranean eco-home in the Chess Valley inspired by a traditional African design

When architects set out to design an ultra-contemporary home in the beauty spot, Paul and Ellie Gadsen from PFG Design found inspiration in the underground ‘troglodyte’ buildings in Matmata, a small town in Southern Tunisia.

Some of the soil was re-used to backfill the waterproof reinforced concrete box that forms the shell for the living quarters. The rest went on the roof to create a garden designed to follow the natural contours of the surrounding landscape and hide the house from view.

Despite being underground, the rooms are flooded with natural light from floor-to-ceiling glass at the front of the building and windows facing a courtyard.

The property has four bedrooms, all with en-suite bathrooms, an open-plan kitchen-living area, a cinema room and spiral staircase up to the garden.

Walnut Burrow is for sale through Savills in Rickmansworth.

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