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Photos: Earthship takes shape in Alaska

An earthship under construction in Kasilof at the property of Willow King, Kelly Hagelund and their three children. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, like tires, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, including glass bottles, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
The view from inside an earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, like glass bottles, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Childrens toys at Willow King and Kelly Hagelund's earthship in Kasilof. The couple lives there with their three children, even while it is under construction. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Willow King inside her partially constructed earthship in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, like rebar and waste concrete, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, like rebar and waste concrete, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, like tires and dirt, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
An earthship under construction in Kasilof. An earthship is a home built out of natural or recycled materials, which is designed to be as self-sufficient as possible. June 11, 2013
Loren Holmes photo
Loren Holmes

After a 2009 fire destroyed Kelly Hagelund and Willow King's home in the Southcentral Alaska town of Kasilof, the family decided to rebuild. But their new home is anything but typical. They are building an Earthship.

The concept behind an Earthship is to be “a ship upon the earth,” meaning everything a person could need is contained within the dwelling itself, like a ship crossing the ocean centuries ago, King said during an interview at the structure this month. Mariners needed water, food and all other necessities of everyday life with them.

The house traps heat thanks to a wall of windows on the south side, letting Alaska’s light in when it’s scarce in the wintertime and abundant in the summer. Radiant heat is installed in the Earthship’s concrete pad floor, and trapped further by the thick concrete and eventual plaster that will make up the walls.

Some walls are still exposed, revealing bottles on their sides with light shining through, or tires stacked up one on top of the other, packed tight with earth and sand pounded in by jackhammer. Eventually, the house will boast an indoor garden, irrigated a “grey water” -- the water derived from things like washing dishes or bathing.

READ MORE: Alaska family plots course with Earthship