The bunker typology doesn't always celebrate the notion of "quirky" design. They tend to be concrete, cavernous spaces that slightly evoke a paranoid futurism born from civic protection. As political climates and microclimates change, they fall into disrepair. These public artifices did their job in most cases, as no news is good news in nuclear holocaust situations.
But what do private bunkers look like? One example is the personal safeplace of Las Vegas millionaire Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who built himself a nuclear bunker in 1978 under the streets of Las Vegas.
The below-grade manse is on sale for a cool $1.7 million. It is not any ordinary, concrete bunker. The huge, 15,200-square-foot complex is 26 feet underground and is accessible by either a staircase hidden in a shed or an elevator behind some rocks.
The street sees a normal, two-story home, but in the basement is an actual house decked out with such creature comforts as a lawn, landscaping, fake trees, hot tubs, a barbecue, a putting green, and a 360-degree mural of "outside" imagery. Custom lighting can simulate nighttime, complete with twinkling stars. The house has some crazy interiors as well, including a pink kitchen and matching pink toilets.
Compared to larger civic bunkers, private shelters are logically built at a smaller scale, and serve a slightly different purpose than their government-funded or military brethren. Private bunkers are often singular domestic entities, meant to literally keep everything out. They are the ultimate private spaces, in which their owners can hide from everything, including war, other people, the sun, and radioactive breezes.
Henderson even started a company called “Underground World Homes.” He was sure that the USSR would try to destroy the USA with nuclear attacks, and his solution was to live underground. With the threat of such warfare thoroughly passé, would you still consider living in this underground palace of kitsch?
Stylish domestic bunker via Messy Nessy Chic