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The Burrow sunken home reflects zen garden as tranquil hideout

With Madrid rents too high for young architects Ignacio and Pilar, they decided to turn their studio into a stealthy home. They buried the kitchen essentials – refrigerator, pantry – inside the walls of their workspace and added a second room to serve as their bedroom.

To avoid drawing attention to the residential addition, they clad it in a reflective surface (methacrylate with a mirror finish) so it would take blend with the garden.

The couple dubbed their home “The Burrow” both because of its stealth mode and because it is partially underground; they also call it “a lair, a hideout, a shelter”. Besides a small sliver window in the back, the bedroom’s only opening to the outside world is through a round, galvanized steel window, “the oculus”, “which reflects and blurs the incoming light”.

There were originally two skylights on the structure, but 2021’s Storm Filomena – Spain’s largest snowstorm in 50 years – knocked a tree onto the home and broke the glass. The home itself withstood the incredible snow loads, though the couple was snowed in for a week.

The space is a mix of natural materials like the cork-clad ceiling (as insulation) and the thatch roof. Ignacio and Pilar say they worried at first that clients might not see their homestudio as professional enough, but instead, they find that while clients may not want to build their own burrow, they fall in love with the coziness of the space.