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Underground

Award-winning architect Piers Taylor and actress and property enthusiast Caroline Quentin explore extraordinary homes built underground in locations around the world, meeting the owners and architects brave enough to take the challenges on.

Their journey starts on the Greek island of Antiparos, where they visit a nine-bedroom house that is hidden beneath the landscape and yet still achieves stunning sea views. As Caroline and Piers discover, the green roof allows the underground spaces to be invisible, while only the pool terrace and whitewashed walls are on view.

Their next stop takes them to the lush valleys of the Swiss Alps, where the owner-architect made his four-bedroom house so invisible, it had to be accessed via a tunnel from the traditional agricultural barn that was already on the site. Piers and Caroline emerge into the main house, its concave facade revealing panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Next, it is over to New Zealand's South Island, to a house that was built underground to soften the impact on the indigenous landscape, whilst at the same time being heavily engineered to withstand the threat of earthquakes. Dynamite was used to excavate 5,000 cubic metres of earth and rock to create the three-bedroom main house and annex, constructed from concrete and cloaked with an engineered wing-shaped roof.

Lastly, Caroline and Piers cycle to visit a very different underground house nestled in a nature reserve in the outskirts of Amsterdam, Holland. The four-bedroom family house was created by deep excavation and then stacking the bedrooms and bathrooms across three floors on the north side, allowing for a huge light-filled open-plan living space facing south.

Release date:

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 30 Dec 2017 14:20
BBC Two Wales

Credits

Role Contributor
PresenterCaroline Quentin
PresenterPiers Taylor
Executive ProducerEmma Hindley
Series ProducerAnna Stickland
DirectorEd St Giles

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