Unique House for the Atomic Age from 1953 – Design You Trust

Unique House for the Atomic Age from 1953

Fireplace in front yard is built into side of hill. Lava appearance of hill comes from stippled Gunite.

In 1953, a swimming pool that became an automatic decontamination bath during an A-bomb attack was one of the features of a home that Hal B. Hayes, Hollywood contractor, was completing for himself. In the hillside next to the swimming pool he’s building an underground sanctuary that you reach by diving into the pool.

h/t: vintag.es

Television set is built into huge tree trunk fitted into wall of living room. Dials are mounted at side.

His house was designed to “bring the outdoors indoors” for ordinary peaceful living, yet has a structure built to resist great destructive forces. Several of the walls were completely of glass that would be swept away by a powerful shock wave, but could later be replaced. A continuation of his living-room rug was pulled up to shroud the glass wall in that room when a button was pressed.

Other walls of the house have a fluted design to resist shock wave and a fireproof exterior surface of Gunite.

Tree trunks and limbs are used for furniture, here support the glass top of table which Hayes is using.

A garden growing in half a foot of soil on the flat roof provides insulation against extreme heat or shock. All exposed wood, inside and outside of the house, was fire-resistant redwood coated with fire-retarding paint. In addition to the underground sanctuary, equipped with bottled oxygen, there was a bombproof shelter in the house itself, consisting of a large steel-and-con-crete vault containing a sitting room and bathroom. Other features of the home include a three-story indoor tree.

Solid wall is fluted to resist shock waves. Fragile glass front could be replaced easily after blast.

Cutaway shows approach to underground sanctuary via swimming pool. Hayes figures that any radio-active contamination on a person’s body would be washed off while swimming to the entrance of the sanctuary.

Pieces of driftwood against backgrounds of swirled linoleum paste form striking decoration in master bedroom.

Smoke from midroom fireplace is caught by umbrella canopy, drawn up the chimney by fan mounted inside.

Tree inside house extends full three stories, here passes through large floor window of louvered glass.

Main entrance of house is through tunnel visible at left. Glass walls at right protect an orchid grotto.

Car is parked on cantilevered steel tracks which overhang cliff below house. Space is at a premium.

Bomb shelter in the house itself has strong steel shutters which can be closed in case of air attack.

If you want more awesome content, subscribe to 'Oh, Design You Trust,' our brand new Facebook page! Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

More Inspiring Stories

This Underwater Observatory in Lake Zug in Switzerland Looks Like a Real Life ‘Truman Show’ Door
New Vancouver’s Towers Looking Like Jenga
Artist Uses Recycled Off-Cuts Of Wood To Create An Architectural Sculpture
Architectural Metaamorphosis
Design Studio Creates Stunning Retro 8 Bit Gaming Roller Blinds
Amazing Old Photos that Capture the Everyday Life in New York City in The 1940s
Delahaye Type 165: The Most Beautiful French Car Of The 1930s
CyberHouse: Russian Architects Make Tesla Cybertruck Inspired House To Survive A Nuclear Apocalypse
Chinese Home Builders Find Great Location: On Top of a Shopping Mall
"The Unruliness of Leisure": Photographs of European Summers from 1979-1984
The Past in Focus: 200 Fascinating Vintage Travel Photographs Are Being Restored
10 Colorized Historical Photos Of Famous Landmarks Under Construction
Stunning See-through Church Is Made From Stacked Weathered Steel
Vintage Cars Are Rotting In A Tunnel Of Liverpool
Two Brothers Photographed Every Stage Of The NYC Subway Construction, From 1900-1939
Eugene Atget – The Photographer Who Walked Fin de Siècle Paris
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Most Famous Buildings Get 3D Paper Model Treatment In New Book
Paris Mayor’s Race Offers Chance to Reimagine City
Joel Weber's Tiny House Will Help Him Save At University of Texas In Austin
Inside the Gruesome Mummies of Guanajuato in the 1950s
Rebuilding Notre Dame In Photographs
This Hotel Is Built Around The Surrounding Rocky Landscape
Dogs Create Abstract Paintings By Shaking Non-Toxic Paint Off Their Bodies
This Photographer Turns Vintage Photos Into Surreal Works Of Art