Image: Paul Bardagjy
The sharp angles of this modern house by US architect Bercy Chen Studio (+1512 481 0092; bcarc.com) belie the fact that it is partially sunk into the ground. But the dramatic impact of its half-submerged appearance is not just an aesthetic tool. Inspired by the Native American pit houses that were traditionally built in this part of America, the building uses the thermal capacity of the surrounding earth to heat and cool the interior, which helped it win an Architizer (architizer.com) 2014 Architecture +Sustainability award. If sinking your house two metres underground sounds too ambitious, take a cue from this property’s green roof, which helps to regulate the internal temperature without the need for heating and air conditioning systems.