This small earth-sheltered house in Atlantic Beach, Florida is actually a duplex, two near-identical homes of 750 ft2 (69.7 m2) each. They were built in 1975 by architect William Morgan to use as vacation rentals. As he himself lived right next door, he did not want the new house to block his view of the ocean, and preferred to keep the landscape natural. Morgan’s solution was to bury the house in an existing sand dune. It is barely visible from the street above. From the ocean side it appears somewhat frog-like with two large rounded openings framing the twin patios. The mass of sand over and around the homes moderates the inside temperatures year-round so very little heating or cooling is needed.
Despite dating from the mid-seventies, the interiors still appear more modern than retro, with smoothly curved walls and flowing stairs. Each unit has its the main entrance on the upper level, which also contains a bathroom and loft bedroom. Downstairs is an eat-in kitchen and a spacious living room with sunken seating area. The wall of glass separating the living room from the semi-enclosed patio provides a view of the ocean.
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