Did you know millions of people in Beijing live in tiny underground apartments built into subterranean apartment blocks and air raid tunnels under the city?
Look through Sim Chi Vin’s photo essay to meet a mother with an eight month old baby, twentysomethings saving on rent by living underground, and people who are woefully underemployed — all living in 10’x10′ boxes.
I really love imagining what it would be like to live in completely different ways. When I was a kid, many of my favorite books had vivid descriptions of offbeat homes; my favorite comes from My Side of the Mountain, in which a boy runs away from home and builds a life living in a hollowed-out oak tree with a pet hawk.
This is the book I thought of when I learned about Dan Price, an artist who lives in a hole he dug.
When mecha-aliens invade, this family can decide to peace out on the world for a while and mosey on down to their still-decent below-ground house.
Ed and Diana Peden bought their very own missile silo outside Topeka, Kansas in the 1980s. At the time it was twenty years decommissioned and filled with water and sludge, but the couple couldn’t pass up the 18,000 square feet spread out on 13 floors underground.
Villa Vals is a rentable property in Switzerland that doesn’t seem like it should exist in this century. Maybe in an alternate year 2011, one where Thor has come to Earth and fallen in love with Natalie Portman and you are sad that he did not fall in love with you before he joined The Avengers.