You've probably seen underground homes, especially if you've watched the Lord Of The Rings. Maybe you've even considered creating one of your own underground and off-grid home. Well, Stensjöäng is Marianna and Anders Agetorp's home where they have built an off-grid underground home. It's also known for the Forest Cathedral, a meditative space with a garden and lots of magical moss and boulders. There are nature trails people can walk through and caves that can be explored as well as open fields too. There are also art installations in the Forest Cathedral and a little backyard that was created in the 1970s as well as a place in the hill where a man lived in the early 1800s. It had been sitting there deteriorating over time because of the wood being covered in soil. All of the roof beams were rotten and broken, so the couple decided to replace the roof before it fell down while someone was exploring the cabin. They did some amazing renovations which you can see brought the underground cabin back to life. You can also get some inspiration for your own cabin if you're considering building one underground too.
Even though ants had made a home in the cabin and a moose had even stepped on it which impacted it, they were able to bring the cottage back to life. They used 4 pieces of 5m long pine trees from a friend, Jan-Erik Björn's forest, and he harvested them and brought them to help with their renovation in 2011. Anders hand peeled the logs and planed them to be straight and smooth. The ends were put into a mixture of linseed oil, tar and turpentine to soak into the log to cure them so they'll last for years to come. They tore off the old roof from the underground cottage, which was quite tricky because of all the moss and root growth that had grown over the years, which was really tough to get through to. They then had to dig out some soil and gravel around the ground, and they found that there was mostly gravel and rocks in it which they saved for the foundation to support the existing walls and to replace some gravel and soil against the rocks. This would help to protect the foundation from frost.
They also added a platon mat, which is very easy to install and very affordable. It's a vapor barrier that goes on the roof and prevents moisture from the soil and rainwater from soaking into the roof boards. There is also room for circulation between the vapor barrier and the roof or floor so that it has room to breathe. They also installed an air duct to ventilate the air and keep the humidity and moisture levels as low as possible. The underground home also got a skylight which helps to bring more light in. It also provides some ventilation when it's open too. Inside, there is also a hand-built fireplace where they enjoy having a small fire or lighting some candles to enjoy the ambiance of a flame. It's not very big inside, but there's enough space to fit two people or so in there. It's very rustic and takes you back to a simpler time when people would actually live in little huts like this one. It looks really cute covered in moss and plant life, nestled into the hillside surrounded by trees. It shows that it's possible to build these underground homes even today if you want to and especially how to preserve any older ones from the past as well.
More about this story can be found at: Backstugan