Here are some great photos of conversation Pits, a popular feature of interior design from the midcentury period to the 1970s. A conversation pit is typically a lower-than-ground-level seating area with a small staircase to walk into. They come in various shapes, and are designed so that a group of people can face each other in style while hanging out and talking. I've never sat inside of a conversation pit in person, but have always admired how cozy they look in photos.
From Got Weird on instagram:
"Conversation pits were typically accessed by a small staircase and filled with modular seating that could be arranged in multiple ways, such as in an L- or U-shape. They were popular throughout the 1960s and 1970s when, as interior designer Leonard Horowitz puts it in the Bangor Daily News, "People were rejecting things, which is why they went to forms." He explains that the conversation pit represented the social changes taking place during that time, when people were more interested in a room's function as opposed to its furnishings. Check out more photos on the link in our bio!"
See also this recent New York Times piece, The Conversation Pit Is Back.