Get Back to Your Roots With the Groundfridge Prefab Root Cellar

Diagram of root cellar from an underground view


Before there were electric fridges, many people had root cellars, essentially underground rooms with stable cool temperatures year round. You can build your own with a garbage can or you can now buy a Groundfridge from Weltevree, the company co-founded by designer Floris Schoonderbeek, famous for the Dutch Tub.

Open groundfridge on a concrete floor

I like their mission statement: "Weltevree wants to contribute to a sustainable, social and inspiring environment." Root cellars certainly are the definition of sustainable. The Groundfridge has a capacity of 3000 liters, which the designers claim is the equivalent of 20 refrigerators, holding half a ton of food. However those must be teensy European fridges; the average American fridge is 18 cubic feet or 500 liters, so it is really the equivalent of 6 fridges here. The hand-laminated polyester unit with tight sealing door is going to be as vermin-proof as you can get.

Rendering of a groundfridge with a cut open side view

It appears to be designed so that you don't even have to take away any dirt; dig a hole, drop it in and put the dirt back on top. Keeping it partly out of the ground also helps deal with high water tables like they have in the Netherlands; you don't want it popping up.

A person exiting from underground "ground fridge"

"It meets the requirements of people with their own vegetable garden, who choose to live in a modern and self-sustaining way." And as we have noted many times before, living in a modern self-sustaining way is often just an update of how Grandma lived. No word on cost. More at Weltevree; found on Core77, who say it is shipping this summer.