Toying around with science

The house at Bag End

Ever find yourself reading The Hobbit and thinking — hey, doesn’t Bilbo Baggins’ underground house sound cozy?

Rob Harrison and his wife Tania certainly do. Which is why over at OurHobbitHole.com, they’ve announced plans to build their own underground house in the precise style of Bag End. Apparently, there’s already a company — Davis Caves — that makes structural units suitable for this type of housing. The couple actually intend to keep their layout as architecturally faithful to the description of the house in Tolkien’s books, though as Tania notes on a recent posting, they’ll need to make a few concessions to modern life:

One of the visual problems we’ve been having with our idea of the hobbit hole is how on earth we’d make a garage look like it fit in. Clearly there weren’t cars in Hobbiton, but a garage would be a very useful addition to our hobbit hole. The other minor problem we’ve been having conceptially is the emergency exit. Rob discussed this with my stepdad last night and it turns out that we have to have two doors that go out and they have to be far enough apart to be useful in emergencies.

Check out the floor plans here, and if you’re sufficiently impressed, go to the donations page and you can contribute to the building yourself.

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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