Home fit for a Hobbit! Distinctive one-bedroom house built of polystyrene and mud goes on sale for $220,000 in Vermont not Middle Earth

  • The unique property consists of a series of connected domes and arching vaults, with frameless oval windows, set directly into the walls and looks like it could be in English author J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth 
  • The home in Marshfield, Vermont, USA, was designed by the late Bob Chappelle, an award-winning architect
  • Chapelle, whose home has a touch of Antoni Gaudi, was inspired by the mud huts he saw in Africa
  • Built in 1988 with polystyrene core covered in mud and cement mixture coated in water-proofing agent

A unique one-bedroom house built of polystyrene and mud that looks like it would be fit for a Hobbit has gone on sale for $220,000. 

The house in Marshfield, Vermont, was built in 1988 by the late Bob Chappelle, an award-winning architect who was inspired by the mud huts he saw in Africa. 

Chapelle used a polystyrene core which he slathered with a mud and concrete mixture and then coated it with two different water-proofing substances.

The fantastical home is a series of connected domes and arching vaults with bean-shaped windows like something from the imagination of English author J.R.R. Tolkein.

The mud house in Marshfield, Vermont, looks like something from the imagination of English author J.R.R. Tolkein with its sloping roof made of mud there is a subterranean feeling as if the house is underground like that of one of the Lord of the Rings’s writer’s little Hobbit characters

The fireplace in the mudhouse constructed entirely of polysterene and coated with cement and mud. The building was the brainchild of the late Bob Chappelle, an award-winning architect who was inspired by the mud huts he saw in Africa

A wooden bathtub in the house with a sumptuous view into the forest below from a bean-shaped window, fantastical in the mode of Barcelona architect Antoni Gaudí

The master bedroom is decorated with large wooden panels which stand behind the bed, misshapen but with a natural finish which allows the material to speak for itself

Water damage is seen at the entrance to the property where some of the waterproofing agent applied to the house has begun to fail. Chapelle constructed the one-of-a-kind house in 1988 with a polystyrene core which he covered with a mud mix and then coated with two different waterproofing substances

Known as the Vermont Mud Hut, the home is in need of restoration because the elements have corroded its water-proofing capabilities. It is on the market for the bargain price of $220,000 (£150,000)

The living area of the Chapelle home has a fireplace and is open plan into the dining and kitchen area, with stairs leading to a mezzanine 

Vermont preservationists hope the house, which has been known as the Vermont Mud Hut, will attract a buyer who could restore the structure without altering or damaging Chappelle’s creation

Brenda Thompson, the estate agent, hoped that the property would be picked up by an architect who would repair the home. She worried that the price of £150,000 ($220,000) could appeal to a buyer who would tear the Vermont Mud Hut down. (pictured: the central living area

The 1,449 sq ft house sits on 47 acres of land and the interior boasts hand-built cherry-slab furniture and towering granite columns along with stone patios.

The high walls of the mud hut are seen from the mezzanine in the fascinating home inspired by the houses of Africa

The 1,449 sq ft house sits on 47 acres of land and the interior boasts hand-built cherry-slab furniture and towering granite columns along with stone patios. 

Unfortunately some of the water-proofing agent used by Chapelle has started to fail and some of the mud is crumbling as a result.

Vermont preservationists hope the house, which has been known as the Vermont Mud Hut, will attract a buyer who could restore the structure without altering or damaging Chappelle’s creation.

Chappelle died two years ago.

Brenda Thompson, an agent who has listed the home, hoped that the property would be picked up by an architect who would repair the home.

She worried that the price of £150,000 ($220,000) could appeal to a buyer who would tear the Vermont Mud Hut down.

A branch hangs over the study table giving the feeling that the dweller is living not just atop the forest floor but among it, within it

As with much of the furniture, the dining room table has an inviting unfinished quality, the wood still showing its unformed natural shape

The main living area. Estate agent Brenda Thompson said: ‘It is heart wrenching because it would be a travesty to see this house be torn down. It would be such a loss. It has so much beauty inside because everything was hand built by Bob Chapelle – even the kitchen sink was made by him. We are hoping some architect will come along who would love to carry on the legacy. It has been referred to as a Hobbit House and I could see it as an Airbnb.’

The kitchen with a large sink made of stone and counter-tops of the tawny-colored wood which typifies the home

Another of the rounded Gaudian windows out of the home beside the kitchen sink

A desk provides the ideal setting for the artist

A rocking chair sits before the fireplace

The main entrance is flooded with light thanks to generous use of glass around the doorway and above it

Thompson said: ‘It is heart wrenching because it would be a travesty to see this house be torn down. It would be such a loss.

‘It has so much beauty inside because everything was hand built by Bob Chapelle – even the kitchen sink was made by him.

‘We are hoping some architect will come along who would love to carry on the legacy. It has been referred to as a Hobbit House and I could see it as an Airbnb.’ 

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