From the outside, Plan B resembles the entrance to a museum of modern art, or even to a military base. Sergey Makhno Architects tried to create a simple and concise form, which would convey reliability, but also be aesthetically attractive and would be accessible from both the ground and from the air.
The massive concrete structure is equipped with three entrances and a helipad on the roof. It occupies only 172 square meters and can be placed either near the main house or, in our case, somewhere in the woods.
The brief was to create a cozy and safe home in the depths of the earth.
Of course, all systems in the Plan B underground building are autonomous. Water supply, sewerage, closed ventilation system with recuperation, intake, and air purification. Whatever happens on the Earth’s surface, life in Plan B will continue.
The main building mass is reinforced concrete, the strongest duo, and the optimal cost. The doors are automatic but have the option of manual control. Directly next to the entrance to the bunker, there is a disinfection shield, behind it — a quartz zone.
The main spiral staircase and elevator lead to the underground building, as well as two flights of spiral staircases for staff and loading stocks — so the flows are distributed and do not interfere with each other.
In the underground building Plan B, there is a separate room for medical care, with an isolator and a closed area for storing stocks of medicines. In a separate room, there is a garden with Phyto-equipment, where you can grow vegetables and some fruits. Also on the living floor, there is a large warehouse of food. Staff rooms are grouped in a separate area.
“Security comes first. My priority was ensuring comfortable sleep, temperature, quality food, water, and air. The rest is just for comfort,” says the studio’s chief engineer Olha Sobchyshyna.
The project proposal provides comfortable living for two or three families with children and staff with their families. If necessary, the project can be redesigned for a much larger number of people, but at this stage, the designers were interested in experimenting with the underground space in such a way as to create the illusion of being above the surface — as if you could look out the window and see the blue sky.
Plan B has two master bedrooms, which consist of a sleeping area, an enclosed storage area for things, and a bathroom. The main task in designing both was to change the awareness of space and its boundaries.
Again, the architects do not divide the space by walls in the usual way. Between the thematic areas — only weightless partitions, which are as part of a maze that begins far beyond the horizon and ends somewhere on the other side of the world. On a physical level, it feels like there is something behind them, leading into infinity.
The space is as empty as possible, it is a place of peace, where there is nothing to be bored with during a long stay in these walls. Of the decorations, there is only quiet ivy, which does not need the sun for happiness.
Places of common use are as close as possible to how we used to live on earth. Here is a large dining table where all inhabitants can gather together.
A library where you can stay alone, but where you will not be alone. A cinema with comfortable chairs, powerful acoustics, a 5D system, and a collection of the best films of all time.
“We decided to make the kitchen professional — cooking can become a great new hobby. In any case, residents will be here quite often. And in general, I think that stainless steel for kitchen surfaces is a great solution not only for restaurants but also for living spaces,” says a co-author of the project, designer Oleksandr Makhno.
The area of exercise bikes is filled with the same drive of disco halls: lighting and acoustics are appropriate here. The zone of multifunctional simulators is already a classic gym with daylight and concentration on achieving the set goals.
In the center of the cylindrical meditation room, there is a powerful beam of light, which allows you to change the light schemes on the ceiling. It can be a starry sky, rainy sky, or even sunbeams.
Plan B did not forget about possible pets, equipping a special area for walking dogs. Here everything is at a maximum as on the street: wood, stones, grass. The evacuation circle can also serve as a place for long walks and for cycling.
“This project is a release from emotions, a reflection on the continuation of human life under any circumstances, and an attempt to find an answer to the question of whether architecture can create the impression of life at the surface while being in its depths,” sums up Serhii Makhno.