The Silo House is upcycling at its finest – a 1955 steel grain silo converted into a beautiful, unconventional living space for two. Built by architect Christoph Kaiser, the house sits in the heart of downtown Phoenix, AZ, in the Garfield Historic District. The idea to create a compact, affordable home that would exhibit the potential of urban upcycling came to Christoph when he saw a Kansas farmer’s silo for sale online. He brought the silo to Phoenix in pieces and began construction.
The challenge in building the Silo House was to work within the very small, circular footprint of the silo and create a modern and comfortable living area. Christoph achieved this beautifully. He moved beyond ordinary construction principles to create everything in the round. The finished home has a 230 square foot footprint and 340 square feet of total living space.
The exterior of the Silo House was painted white to reflect the desert sun. Subterranean air ducts and a functional skylight in the roof provide passive cooling to the home. The landscaping complements the circular shape of the home with curved rock borders, garden beds, and a horizontal slatted privacy fence.
From the staircase to the countertops, every inch of the interior of the home was carefully planned to fit within a crescent shape and maximize efficiency and usable space. The airy loft provides room for a bed and storage perfectly suitable for an individual or couple.
The thought of assembling a kit of parts that fits in the bed of truck, and ending up with a home for two was a tantalizing challenge, very appealing from a carbon-footprint, sustainability, and, shall we say, ‘architectural rigor’ standpoint.
On a personal note, I have had to jump through hoops in the past on almost every construction project I have dealt with – including construction of a new home in the country and the remodel of an old home in the city. It seemed like every step I took was inhibited by some city or county code or regulation. So my first thought when I saw that this silo home sits in downtown Phoenix was how Christoph possibly got the city to allow him to build a home out of an old silo. However, the city accepted the project willingly and hoped it would act as a catalyst for entire community rehabilitation. This sets a great example for other communities to follow.
Read more about this innovative home and Christoph’s other projects on his website.
(Images via Christoph Kaiser)
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