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House in the Hill0

Those of you familiar with The Lord of the Rings  (films or novels) probably hold a special place in your hearts for Hobbiton, a small town in The Shire.  I know I do.  How can you not fall in love with a town that is so ecologically in tune with the world that it builds houses inside of hills instead of on top of them?

Take a look of this video from the movie set of Hobbiton (located in New Zealand):

Even though that was just a set, it looks kind’a nice and peaceful.  And this place—a real place, not something created for a movie—goes for the same Hobbit-like vibe:

This is the House Inside a Hill at Villa Vals  in Switzerland.  A joint venture between Christian Müller Architects and SeARCH, this unique dwelling was completed in 2008 and won the 2011 Wallpaper*  Design Award for Best New Private House.

Designed specifically with a low profile to showcase the natural beauty surrounding it, this house is beautiful on the outside.

The inside is a different issue:

I’d call this one depressing looking kitchen.  There is so much gray in the place it makes me start craving green vegetables.

And here, no matter how colorful the sheets are, you’re not gonna escape the feeling of sleeping in a subway tunnel.

Paint the place!  Please!  The exterior is soooo pretty!  What happened with the interior décor? 

What do you think – would you want to live here?  What colors would you paint the walls?  What would you do with the ceiling?  All you design buffs out there – go at it in the comments below. 

Photographs by Iwan Baan for Villa Vals

text by John Barker

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