J.R.R Tolkien, architect of all things fantastical, describes a hobbit home as follows: “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a Hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.” And as these photos show, Tolkien fans have taken his description to heart, recreating their own homes to emulate the simple and cozy digs of one of history’s most beloved set of fictional characters.
One lifelong “Hobbit” fan who wanted to channel that love into physical reality ended up hiring Peter Archer, an architect who constructed his own take on the Hobbit lifestyle for his client in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Archer had no prior knowledge of Tolkien’s works before starting on this project, which his client uses as a museum for his J.R.R. Tolkien collection – one that has taken him over 30 years to amass.
Archer says, “Upon starting the project I read the book The Hobbit and watched the Lord of the Rings movies, but more importantly, looked at the range of writings by Tolkien, including amazing sketches he had done to illustrate his work. I remember at the start saying that we would be happy to design the structure but we were not going to do a Hollywood interpretation. We wanted it to be timeless. It was built in 2004 but looking at it, you could think it was from 1904 or 1604.”
A fair warning must be given to those for whom living the Hobbit lifestyle has always been a dream: not everyone will be on your side. One couple from Pembrokeshire, Wales found this out the hard way. City planners voted to demolish their already finished, low-impact, sustainable Hobbit home because they deemed it an “unjustified residential development in the countryside” and unsuitable for the area in which it was built. Needless to say, its owners were heartbroken.
That said, one look at some of these other Tolkien-inspired creations and you’ll see why this style of construction may not be just a fad; it may signal an overall shift to a more sustainable and cozy way of life.