Modern Caveman's Home : Reimagining the Stone Age

in Architecture+Design3 months ago


Have you thought of living in a cave similar to how ancient nomads? If you do, this blog is right for you. A cave is dark, warm, and weatherproof that is ideal for a shelter. It may be humble, but It has the basics of a perfect home even before we had floor plans and plasterboard. When we think of people in the Stone Age, we always think of the cave as their home, but they were not. What we see in our museums, like a bare-footed and smock-wearing caveman, is an imagination of how it looks but never really existed.

The subterranean inhabitant is an exception; hence they used caves as homes during the summer when they need to hide from the ferocious sun. On the other hand, some people inhabited caves during migration to seek refuge. Mostly caves were not a permanent home for our ancestors. They only used it for rituals, ceremonies, and events. It keeps me thinking why caves are becoming popular now if they weren't the go-to choice for our ancestors.

Caves have a unique geometry that inspires architects to turn them into masterpieces. Besides, it has exquisite geothermal properties. Many modern architects find caves a fascinating subject for architectural transformation. Many caves transformed into contemporary cave dwellings, which were sculpted out from a landscape many years ago. Here are caves that became a modern livable space:

Million Donkey Hotel, Prata Sannita, Italy

The Million Donkey Hotel was a collection of abandoned buildings that transformed into a large hotel. The Fed721 Architects designed it to have cave-like rooms that have step cliff face. The locals dubbed it as the workhorses, where they help build the hotel by hand. What was unique with the project is local volunteers came together to construct the hotel, which aims to promote the local economy of Prata Sannita. Prata Sannita is entirety as a large, scattered hotel that has abandoned rooms. These give the architect a subject for architectural renovation; hence it bears potential for the future. They perceived the entire Prata Sannita as a single-action space.

Exterior of the Million Dollar Hotel, Prata Sannita, Italy. (archello)

Interior of the Million Dollar Hotel, Prata Sannita, Italy. (archello)

Interior of the Million Dollar Hotel, Prata Sannita, Italy. (archello)

Modern Cave, Tel Aviv, Israel

It is a series of a building designed by Pitsou Kedem that blends the contemporary with ancient architecture. They restored the original space found in cave-dwelling to preserve its characteristics and geometry but integrating a minimalist, modern aesthetic to the structure. We can locate it in Jaffa, which is the ancient port city in the suburbs of Tel Aviv, Israel. The black and white pallet gives strong contrast that never overwhelms the natural stone found throughout.

Interior of the Man Cave, Tel Aviv, Israel. (archdaily)

Exterior of the Man Cave. (archdaily)

Wine Cave, Texas, US

The Subterranean building has exquisite climate control, which can ignore the ever-changing weather; hence it is buried in the mountain. It inspired Clayton Korte to design the wine production and storage inside a cave, which addresses the required thermal stability. The wine cave embedded into the north-facing, limestone hillside. It somewhat disappears in our sight and blends with the hillside. The wine cave has a growing wine collection that has a consistent 55-60 degree subterranean temperature. In its interior, it houses a wood-clad tasting lounge with a bar at the entrance.

Exterior of the Wine Cave, Texas, USA. (archello)


Interior of the Wine Cave, Texas, USA. (archello)

Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

Christians inhabited the landscape to avoid persecution during the hunt in Roman times. Many cave dwellings in Cappadocia, central Turkey became their safe haven. It has a network of vast underground sanctuaries, which are carved from the earth to form churches and chapels. It is where Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel builds upon. The series of voids and masses cultivates unique hospitality venues across the region, with Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel being a standout example. Designed by GAD Architecture to be a hybrid that translates contemporary design and geological wonder. The architects embrace the microclimates found underground and transform them to suit the needs of the modern traveler.

Exterior of Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey. (architizer)

image.pngbr>Interior of Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey. (architizer)

Nonagriam Twins, Andros, Greece

The Nonagriam Twins buildings are designed to blend the natural contour s and rugged landscape. The rugged terrain is typically associated with caves, but these beautiful, expansive houses build in are an existing natural stone cave. The A31 architecture design and build the two summer residences on the Greek island of Andros. It is partially above ground and partially subterraneous, which offers uninterrupted views of the Mediterranean Sea at the living space. On the other hand, the underground structure uses geothermal energy and passive design features to give a cozy and warm feeling.

Exterior of the Nonagriam Twins, Andros, Greece. (designboom)

Exterior of the Nonagriam Twins, Andros, Greece. (designboom)

Interior living space of the Nonagriam Twins, Andros, Greece. (designboom)

Summer Cave House, Santorini, Greece

The Summer Cave House juxtaposes the whitewashed architecture, which embraces the natural rocky cliff faces and faces the captivating Aegean Sea in Santorini. The location gives a truly breathtaking site for this project. The place is the home of penniless sailors, who dug out by hand from the earth that gives the unique texture of the volcanic cave homes in the area. It inspired many architects to create a contemporary home from these caves. The vaulted ceilings and windowless cubbies became the most luxurious hospitality venues in the world through the years. It adopts the amorphous shapes of the original cave dwellings and draws in light and atmosphere from the landscape.

Aerial view of Summer Cave House, Santorini, Greece. (archdaily)


Exterior of Summer Cave House, Santorini, Greece. (archdaily)

Interior of Summer Cave House, Santorini, Greece. (archdaily)

Cave homes are not a new concept, and it existed since prehistoric times. Deviating the primitive identity of cave dwellings, many contemporary cave dwellings are surprisingly luxurious, comfortable, and beautiful places to call home. It has a head-turning location and tends to be naturally energy-efficient due to exquisite subterranean temperature regulation, which is attributed to insulating earth walls that keep the inside air comfortable all-year-round. I rounded up six abodes that define the modern caveman's home.

Note: The cover image is created by the author using Canva. The background image is from Pixabay.


  1. The Million Dollar Hotel by feld72 Architects
  2. Modern Cave by Pisou Kedem Architecture
  3. Wine Cave by Clayton Korte
  4. Katpatuka Spa Thermal Hotel, Turkey
  5. A31 architecture nestles two summer houses into a greek island hillside
  6. Summer Cave House by Kapsimalis Architecture
  7. Architecture of the Underground

Add this one to the list. A young couple transform an old cave into a home as a means of affordable housing in Amboise, France.

That is a gutsy couple to be able to build their own cave house. And, it's DIY. Cool!. Thank you for sharing, @dkmathstats!

I like to have this kind of home.

Yeah, If cave has all of the amenities, I will definitely live there too. Thanks for your engagement, @afterglow!

You're welcome.

I wouldn't mind living in a cave as long as it has the amenities of a modern hotel. The phrase "Man Cave" is even a popular terminology nowadays to denote a private room within a house where an individual could do his personal hobbies, away from the rest of the family. Just imagine spending a lot of time inside a real cave? Thank you @juecoree for this interesting architectural post!

I couldn't agree more. It makes the "Man Cave" concept into a literal man cave. It would be awesome to spend time in a cave if all amenities and provision are available. Thank you for dropping by, @storiesoferne!

Hello Jayson, this is a creative post, I must say. Now, where do I sign up for a visit to the Wine Cave lol? Seriously speaking, it is thermally efficient to store the wine in the desired conditions. Thinking about it, Cave or la cave is a literal translation of storage cellar and an underground space in french and is often understood as a wine cellar and not an actual cave. Excuse my musings, just thinking (and writing) out loud.

Would you ever consider creating a subterranean home built within a cave?

Hi @discoveringarni! No need to excuse. I love the musing.

Cave or la cave is a literal translation of storage cellar ... often understood as a wine cellar and not an actual cave.

This is interesting. I think the architect for the Wine Cave creates a good juxtaposition of an actual cave and la cave.

Would you ever consider creating a subterranean home built within a cave?

I would love creating a subterranean home within a cave. Cave are safe haven especially if there are extremely strong typhoon. Old people and those at the remote areas have stories on how caves protect them. As you mentioned, caves are thermally efficient due to natural thermal insulation it provides.

By the way, Thank you for engaging in my post!

First of hall it's really hard to design and construct in such contour and secondly they are beautiful masterpieces. I appreciate you for bringing such a subject into limelight.
Keep flourishing.

I couldn't agree more that these are masterpieces. The innate geometry and contours of caves really a quite a challenge for architects. Thank you for you engagement, @praditya!


Some of those were quite striking.

Those man caves with modern influence are very aesthetic, I would love to visit one during some vacations. The collection of different kinds of interior settings you mentioned is very interesting to go through.
Hope you have a lovely week.

Hi @sahiba-rana! I appreciate you like the write up. I am also delighted to see the different interior while researching such masterpieces. Wishing you a lovely week too!

Hello @juecoree, we are excited to congratulate you for making it to the top feature!
Continue creating excellent content and inspiring us with imaginative architectural ideas and possiblities!

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