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Property sat 7 years unsold. She created dream underground villa

When Jennava Laska first visited the underground home for sale in Nashville, Tennessee it had been on the market for seven years looked like a “horror movie house” or a long-abandoned cellar. She saw potential in the home’s spoke-and-wheel design to create an underground Mediterranean villa and bought the long-neglected property.

When Gene Tidwell, one of the designers of Nashville’s iconic Batman Building, built the home in 1983, he buried it at the top a hillside to avoid the Tennessee bedrock at the bottom of the driveway and to dig into the much softer slate up top.

The home forms a tunnel through the hill with windows at each end to let in light and with the 2 skylights, the space feel light and airy despite being buried. Laska opened up the home by removing the walls that divided the tunnel section so now you can see straight through the home from one end to another. She wanted this main area to feel like the atrium at the center of a Roman Villa with bedrooms and living room branching off from this main space.

Laska says the space remains naturally cool in summer and warm in winter though she installed a heat pump for the especially hot or cold days and a dehumidifier for the summer. Since radon gas can build up in the shale rock, she installed a radon filter with a fan that continuously filters air from below the home.