Bomb Shelters are Booming

A couple years ago, I went on an architectural tour of a mid-century home that had a nuclear fallout shelter in the backyard. I kept imagining how tense and uncertain the Cold War atmosphere must have been for people to resort to such measures.
Check out this article in TIME magazine from 1961, where a developer was offering a built-in concrete and steel structure under the garage as an “option” for the new home buyer. Good thing we don’t have to consider that now, I thought.
As it turns out, the fallout shelter business is once again on the rise, and this time not just in response to man-made disasters. A recent Los Angeles Times article discusses how a new generation of shelters purports to save us from natural catastrophes like earthquakes and tsunamis as well.

Personally, I don’t care to live my life in a constant state of fear. But if I had to, I’d want to do it in style with a real life version of the Disco Fallout Shelter (see above) from artist collective Instant Coffee.
Would you consider a fallout shelter for your backyard? Have you seen any interesting designs you would like to share? Let us know.

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Jennifer Volland

Jennifer Volland

Jennifer M. Volland is an independent writer and curator based in Long Beach, California. She conceived and co-curated the exhibition and publication Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life for the Vancouver Art Gallery (2013). She is co-author of Edward A. Killingsworth: An Architect’s Life (Hennessey + Ingalls, 2013) and Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis (Hennessey + Ingalls, 2004). Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CITY, Environmental Graphics Magazine, Sunset, Arcade journal for architecture and design, and Western Interiors and Design, among other print and online publications.
Jennifer Volland

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