In certain parts of the world, there are few natural threats quite as frightening as a tornado. A single storm can still level an entire town, scattering homes, businesses, and schools across the plains. But what if your house could protect itself from a tornado by retreating underground?

That's a concept being considered by the architecture firm 10 Design. Looking at the possibility of kinetic architecture to combat the threat of violent storms, 10 Design imagines houses that sit above the ground and then retract like a turtle when a tornado is on the way. External stimulation activates a number of hydraulic levers, triggering the rising and sinking of the home. The watertight, translucent roof would be sandwiched between two layers of Kevlar, allowing light to filter into the home while protecting it from wind and rain.

Kinetic tornado-proof houses could duck underground

The 10 Design team imagines a future where entire neighborhoods of these houses sit in tornado-prone areas, where each house's sensory data informs the rest of the neighborhood, offering the entire network early warnings of approaching storms.

Tornado Proof House by 10 Design [dezeen]