Dig in for apocalypse in a practically invisible 'Bunker Moderne' home

Dig in for apocalypse in a practically invisible 'Bunker Moderne' home
·Yahoo! Homes Contributor
The main house is built around this light well, seen from the rooftop garden. with a koi pond at the bottom.
The main house is built around this light well, seen from the rooftop garden. with a koi pond at the bottom.

This partially buried home in Southern California combines the luxury of a multimillion-dollar estate with the practicality of a concrete bunker.

Made of steel-reinforced concrete, it's carved into the Santa Monica Mountains' Saddle Peak and practically indestructible. (Really: Its astounding resilience is documented. The house survived the 1993 Old Topanga firestorm that burned homes on Saddle Peak "faster than kids eat candy," in the Los Angeles' Times phrase. Environmentalist Mary Ellen Strote had commissioned the earth-sheltered house a few years earlier, and she told the Times after the firestorm: "There is no worse case than this. I did not have one bit of damage inside the house." The concrete house was restored to tiptop shape by a simple steam cleaning of scorch marks -- whereas a traditional wooden house on her property had been reduced to ash.)

The roof is covered with plants in soil nearly 3 feet deep, and the foot-thick concrete walls are the same color as the ancient boulders that surround the home -- helping to render the home essentially invisible in the landscape. (Click here or on a photo for a slideshow.)

"The result of this mind-bending feat of architectural style and presence has been described in print as 'Bunker Moderne,'" a promotional website proudly notes.

The house is actually one of two on what's been dubbed the Stunt Road Compound -- but the star is clearly the 3,900-square-foot house hidden in a ridge outside Calabasas. The other house is a 2,500-square-foot midcentury-inspired house built in 1996, after the Old Topanga fire. The property is a combined 44 acres, on the market for $4.5 million.

The bunker-style home is centered on a "light well" with a koi pond in the middle. There's also a master suite that has two full-size bathrooms and closets -- the property website calls it the home's "command center" -- and a little secret room just off the restaurant-style kitchen that might be an excellent location for a Bat Cave.

Click here or on an image for a slideshow of the Stunt Road Compound and its nearly invisible centerpiece, a hidden "Bunker Moderne" home partially buried in a ridge.

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