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Floris Schoonderbeek's Groundfridge chills food without electricity

Dutch Design Week 2015: this spherical refrigerator by Dutch designer Floris Schoonderbeek is buried underground, keeping food cool without using electricity.

Schoonderbeek's Groundfridge for Dutch brand Weltevree is based on traditional root cellars – spaces dug into the earth to preserve food and drink.

The fridge has a round base encircled by wooden shelves and reached by an integrated staircase, creating a slightly phallic shape.

In contrast with modern domestic appliances, the Groundfridge doesn't rely on electricity. It is designed to be buried underground where, due to thermal inertia, temperatures are constant throughout the year.

According to Weltevree, burying the fridge allows it to remain consistently between 10 and 12 degrees celsius throughout the year, meaning it can be used to store produce such as vegetables, wine, or cheese.

Constructed from lightweight laminated polyester, the Groundfridge is resistant to intrusion from roots of nearby trees or plants.

The company claims the storage capacity is comparable to that of 20 standard refrigerators, meaning it can hold up to 500 kilograms of food.

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"The transition to a self-providing food chain showed me the loss of storage facilities," said Schoonderbeek.

"I set out to solve this in a sustainable and comfortable way. The Groundfridge is a combination of old and proven techniques in a present-day application."

The fridge is currently included in a showcase of projects shortlisted for the 2015 Dutch Design Awards at the Veemgebouw in Eindhoven as part of this year's Dutch Design Week, which runs from 17 to 25 October 2015.

Concept diagram – click for larger image

Previous Dutch Design Awards winners have included Iris van Herpen, who was awarded the Golden Eye prize for her collection of 3D-printed garments, and Amsterdam agency Lemz, which designed a virtual 10-year-old girl to catch perpetrators of webcam child sex tourism.