Ten years ago Manuel Barrantes began a project that would make most of us frown in confusion. Using only an assortment of picks and shovels, this 62 year old brought a new meaning to the housing market when he chose to build an underground dwelling for himself in the San Jose province in Costa Rica.
With over 400 square meters of tunnels, this home has now become quite the tourist attraction and Barrantes has quickly welcomed guests of all ages, teaching them about geography and archeology. The structure is decorated with hand carved sculptures and even offers a few references to the caveman cartoon the Flintstones.
This loveable “Mole Man”, as he has been fondly named by locals, built this oasis for his family in an attempt to protect them from global warming. The family is able to enjoy all the comforts of a traditional home with electricity a landline to the outside world and full insulation of the entire structure.
Although one might think that a similar home would be dark and cramped, Barrantes designed his underground tunnels with comfort in mind. One of the biggest areas is 16 meters deep, offering a space for him to welcome guests in comfort and style. Even the most basic of human functions were planned for when he included bathrooms, bathtubs and bedrooms.
Barrantes also considered the need for fresh air when he included nine windows in his design. He plans to continue this project and jokes that he will eventually dig his way to China, which with his creativeness and engineering might actually be possible.