Photo: Matt Rourke/AP/NY Daily News
The latest J.R.R. Tolkien film adaptation, The Hobbit, is in theaters this weekend, people are coming out of the woodwork with their crazy Hobbit-inspired homes. One Pennsylvania architect and lifelong Tolkien fan constructed a 600-square-foot shrine to the author, in the style of Bilbo Baggins' shire abode. Set in the rolling countryside of Chester County, outside of Philadelphia, the cabin houses a collection of rare books and Tolkien memorabilia, set behind a stone facade, with round doorways and vaulted ceilings. The architect is very secretive about the exact location, going so far as to give a fake name to reporters during a televised interview, but he is taking the Hobbit-home model on the road, constructing a similar building on the Australian island of Tasmania.
↑ Set in the Welsh countryside, an environment reminiscent of Middle Earth, this partly subterranean, eco-friendly house wasn't strictly inspired by Tolkien, but it bears more than a passing resemblance. A totally green, off-the-grid structure, the house was constructed using mud, stone, and "gathered oak thinnings" for the framework, plus hay bales for insulation. Water is provided by a nearby stream and electricity comes from a bank of solar panels. Best of all, this charming abode cost just $4,800 to build.
Photos: Sweet Station
↑ For something more fanciful, try Chile's Magic Mountain Hotel, a conical, moss-covered tower with a fountain at the pinnacle that spills water over the facade. The interior is lined with raw wood and a rope bridge gives the place that extra bit of fantasy. When guests venture out into the surrounding forest, they might find the hot tubs carved from tree stumps.
↑ Now back to the U.S.—Washington's Bainbridge Island, to be specific—where a construction worker is building himself a fanciful home. The house, which has a somewhat idiosyncratic attached garage, features an undulating roof and shingle facade, and was built without the use of plans or blueprints. Oddly enough, the builder never intended to make a Tolkien-inspired house, despite having seen all of the films, and only made the connection when neighbors began referring to his creation as the "Hobbit house."
↑ Homebuyers in search of a Tolkien-worthy home, but without the desire to build from scratch would do well to head to the New Mexico desert, where the $245K Desert Dancer ranch offers not one, but three Hobbit-sized huts. The private village of tiny houses is joined by a more substantial main house on the six-acre property.
· Architect builds house inspired by 'The Hobbit'; Stone cottage is homage to works of J.R.R. Tolkien and his creations [Daily News]
· Extraordinary Off-Grid Hobbit Home in Wales Only Cost £3,000 to Build [Inhabitat]
· Magic Mountain Hotel [Sweet Station]
· Bainbridge Island man building his own 'Hobbit house' [Komonews]
· 1353 Vista Hermosa Road [Realtor.com]