Silos are massive cylindrical structures used mainly for the storage of agricultural materials, such as grains or fermented fodder called silage. In general, they are also used for bulk storage of food products, cement, woodchips, coal or even sawdust. Architect Christoph Kaiser has transfigured one such grain bin, in Phoenix, Arizona, into an incredibly modern and cozy home for two. The interior of the dwelling, designed almost entirely by Kaiser, features custom-built furniture that seamlessly adapt to the building’s curved exterior.
Kaiser bought the 1955 defunct grain silo, online, from a Kansas-based farmer. Integrating the concepts of tiny living and adaptive reuse, the architect has created a stunning yet affordable 340-square-foot house, that boasts a very low carbon footprint, in addition to impressive space-saving credentials. Over the last two years, Kaiser has added some major changes to the structure. These include a 9-foot-wide entrance and a 10 inches-thick insulating layer of spray foam placed between the building’s interior and the silo’s painted steel shell. A skylight, along with a couple of windows, have been carved onto the silo walls to provide ventilation and natural lighting.
Custom-built using wood and black steel, the dwelling’s interior has been developed such that it seamlessly conforms to the silo’s cylindrical shape. In order to save costs, Kaiser has used scrap walnut planks, purchased from Craigslist for $350, as the primary flooring material. Except for the Eames Wire dining chairs, most of the furniture, including the grey upholstered sofa, the curved wooden cabinets, the dining table and the overhead lamp fitted with hooks for hanging pots and pans, have been designed specially by Kaiser. He said:
I didn’t want to cheat and do a box inside a curved shell. I wanted it to feel like the inside and outside were born of the same mentality.
A lithe spiral staircase allows access to the loft bedroom, which is in turn equipped with state-of-the-art home theater system.