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Now you see it, now you don't: Czech engineer's moving house

posted 8 Aug 2012, 07:47 by Mpelembe   [ updated 8 Aug 2012, 07:47 ]

A house with a spin on it means the owner never need be without sun and can change the view from his living room window.

The first signs of a very special house in the Czech Republic's Jizerske Mountains hillside are a whirring sound, not unlike the Doctor's Tardis.
Like a modern day hobbit house, Bohumil Lhota's home lies embedded in the slope not just covered in grass but lying under the grass unlike a hobbit house and much more like the Tardis it is a house that refuses to stay still.

Lhota, a civil engineer, got the idea after he purchased a small piece of land in the north of Bohemia. With not much space to branch out onto, Lhota branched down.

The underground house is nine meters in diameter with a massive middle corpus to move the house up or down, or around depending on the inhabitant's whim and what view they fancy. It is also eco-friendly.

"This system makes it possible to survive even in bad conditions. The design is also minimally harmful to the nature because it is mostly hidden under the earth and all in green," Lhota told Reuters TV.

Another of Lhota's aims was to make use of a stable underground temperature of five degrees celsius as a natural cooling system.

"I sink with the house underground where there is already the natural earth temperature. The temperature conditions underground are the same also in winter. This underground closed space can be than much easier regulated."

Lhota started building his house at the beginning of the eighties, during the Communist regime and it took him more than 20 years to do it. The last hallways were completed in 2006. He built the house himself with the help of specialists and friends, making it almost impossible to calculate the costs and value of the property.

But 20 years on, there is some recognition for the engineer and Lhota has recently won first prize in his category in the Energy and Globe Award.

"Specialist engineers would have built up this house much quicker then me doing it by myself. I would have been glad if someone had plucked up some courage and assigned the project to some professional firm to build it properly and quickly," Lhota said.

It may not have been the quickest house off the block but it isn't every house that can turn to meet the sun, and sink below the surface when day is done.