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A Disturbing Store Room Answered


We've just returned from staying with friends in Geneva, where we slept in their (large and airy) basement.

Next to the bedroom was the room our friends used as a store room - their nuclear bunker!

When their house was built, it was a legal requirement for all homes to have a nuclear bunker.  A stocked, functioning nuclear bunker.

The door is steel, filled with concrete.  It doesn't have a lock - that huge yellow bolt and spanner hold the door shut against invaders.  The door on the wall is an escape hatch, in case the house collapses on the main door, and the machinery in the corner is the air filter.

The shelves double as beds, and the toilet is a bucket with a lid.

I found it fascinating, and, to be honest, disturbing.  It took me two days to "get around" to going through and taking these photos.

I grew up during the tense days of US/Soviet nuclear proliferation, when Threads wasn't just a disturbing drama, it was almost a government information film.  I paid attention at school - I knew what nuclear weapons really did.  To most kids, they were a cool way of destroying a bunch of stuff (even more so today).  To me, they were (and are) flatly horrifying, and the stuff of genuine nightmares.

I look forward to when things like reduced to the kind of novel feature that ranks alongside "original fireplace" or sash windows.



27 Replies

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kcls (author)2010-08-17

Oh my gosh. That is actually quite disturbing. I'm with you on that one. If I stayed at a house with one of these in it, I would constantly be looking around at it. That goes for everything in a house, though. If you found a secret door in your house, you know you would be going in it and looking around for the next month :D

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Kryptonite (author)kcls2010-08-17

My family's building a house at the moment, but they wouldn't let me have a secret tunnel. D:

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Kiteman (author)Kryptonite2010-08-17

If they let you build it, it wouldn't be secret. Wait until they are finished, then get under the floorboards...

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Kryptonite (author)Kiteman2010-08-18

It's slab-on-ground... Damn...

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Kiteman (author)Kryptonite2010-08-18

When they're not looking, drop some large-diameter ducting into the setting cement...

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RadBear (author)Kiteman2010-08-18

Chisel a hole in the floor and excavate underneath. A guy somewhere here in the US did that. I saw it on history channel.

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seamster (author)RadBear2010-08-18

My father dug out a basement that way. Many thousands of wheelbarrow fulls later, we had a hole under our house that was eventually finished to become a basement. I'm not sure exactly how he kept the house from collapsing, though.

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kcls (author)Kryptonite2010-08-17

Darn. There are always new things to discover on a boat. We've had our boat for 4 years now and we are still discovering new nooks and crannies :P

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Kiteman (author)kcls2010-08-17
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Kiteman (author)kcls2010-08-17

Gosh. House boat? Canal boat? Pirate galleon?

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kcls (author)Kiteman2010-08-17

A 40 foot passport 40. You can see the blog of our whole trip here. My family and I moved onto her in November of 2008, and the plan was to cruise up and down the east coast for 2 tears, but my dad had to go back because of his business after a year. It was quite a fun experience!

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Kryptonite (author)kcls2010-08-18

After two tears? Damn, you must have been hoping for a happy time then! :D

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kcls (author)Kryptonite2010-08-18

Well he owns the business, It was a combination of the fact that we chose the worst possible time to go because of the economy, and he left an idiot in charge. Never leave a salesperson in charge of anything. :P

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Kryptonite (author)kcls2010-08-19

That's a fair conclusion!

Did you notice the misspelling?

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jeff-o (author)2010-08-22

Looks like a great place to house a small workshop. You could make all the noise you want, and not disturb anyone else!

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Jayefuu (author)2010-08-18

As scary as the thought of it being necessary is, it's amazing they still have it. Would have thought they'd have removed the doors by now to de-scarify it. Is that all it was? A room with two solid doors? Or did it have water and toilet facilities?

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kill-a-watt (author)Jayefuu2010-08-19

It takes time and effort to neuter a perfectly good shelter. Besides, the nuclear threat has hardly evaporated. There's several new members of the nuclear nations club and Iran and North Korea are working on intercontinental delivery systems. It looks like this place is missing provisions for an unexpected two week stay.

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KentsOkay (author)2010-08-19

I seriously want one. Now of course, I'd hate to have to live with it in suburbia, 'cuz that ain't a pleasant place after nukes. Maybe in a rural area. But this is still WAY cool.

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RadBear (author)2010-08-18

I want one. You can buy old ICBM silos here in the US. Some folks live in them and others use them as huge basements. I always thought that would be cool. Lots of space for variou projects and tools.

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porcupinemamma (author)2010-08-18

You are right Kiteman-very very sad. I'd love however, to have a secret passageway that opened up to a cozy apartment with just my stuff in it and a place to sing and sew and write

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The Ideanator (author)2010-08-17

Dude, that would rock for all the dangerous experiments involving explosives or flammables that just cant be performed outside. Does it have shock absorbers underneath it?

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Kiteman (author)The Ideanator2010-08-18

No, just bedrock. I don't think it's intended to survive an overhead blast.

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The Ideanator (author)Kiteman2010-08-18

Oh well. Though it's still pretty cool IMO.

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Wasagi (author)2010-08-18

As foreboding as that seems, I really do want a bunker in my basement. Or in the storm drains....

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