Defensible Space: Secret ‘Safe House’ in Bunker-Style Shell


Like a diamond forged in the heart of a chunk of coal, the harsh concrete exterior of this house contains a sparkling floor-to-ceiling glass secret hidden from view – a secret place with space-filled rooms and surprisingly open-plan layouts. The solid skin features is not just industrial camouflage, but also a weather-protecting shell complete with the ultimate in modern castle design: a drawbridge!

Layers of dark gray perimeter fencing (likewise made of prefab concrete-surface panels) gives way to foreboding facades of likewise lackluster materiality – a dull, decoration-free set of undifferentiated surfaces that looms like a warehouse and looks even more sinister at night. Yet on the interior, luxury design is everywhere to be seen and accommodations include an expansive indoor swimming pool.

Along the street, the entry way blends with the border walls on either side – even as these gates slide away to reveal an opening there appears to be only more of the same when one travels up the gravel driveway. In essence, the experience is like that of entering an off-limits space – a military storage facility, rural strategic base or the surface component of a subterranean missile silo perhaps.

Windows are disguised in the same way on three of four sides, giving the impression that there are none until they are cleverly pushed out and over to connect interior spaces with exterior light and views. Along one side is a drawbridge-style staircase as well – sufficient security to make even the most paranoid survivalist feel safe.

The most impressive side, however, is revealed when one lifts a giant two-story gray metal garage door to reveal double-height glazing encased by only the most minimal of metal structural supports, a modern-style glass curtain wall that dissolves the distinction between outside and inside and connects residents to wonderful green forest views. Who needs secret rooms or missile silo spaces when your whole defensible-space house can hide in plain sight?

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