Converting defunct silos into living spaces isn’t a new idea, but with the increasing popularity of tiny house life, I’m sensing a resurgence of interest in refurbishing these cylindrical grain stores.
This 1940’s silo was remodeled in 2007 and now welcomes guests as one of the units at Gruene Homestead Inn in New Braunfels, Texas. The addition of a front porch gives it true Texas style. I love the rusted roof.
The rounded exterior sets the perfect stage for this curved interior stairway. The living spaces are compact, but more generous than many tiny houses – especially the lofted bedroom, which provides enough headroom to actually stand up. Bedrooms are my main hesitation about true tiny homes, since so many require crawling.
A Modern Studio
This much more modern studio was designed by architect Christoph Kaiser. Purchased from a farmer in Kansas, Kaiser moved the silo to Phoenix to create his cozy, 190 square foot studio.
The interior, including my of the furniture, is highly customized to suit the small space.
In Woodland, Utah, next to the Provo River, is a combined silo house designed by Gigaplex Architects. Known as Montesilo, a play on Jefferson’s Monticello, this home was designed to accommodate the needs of owner Earl Stein and his visitors, including grandchildren.
By combining two silos, this home is actually quite large. The total square footage comes in at 1,800 sq ft.
They oriented the home for maximum river frontage. Southern exposure brings in lots of natural daylight with solar heat gain during the cold winter months. Electric mesh installed in the lower floor heats the house, along with a propane-burning stove for backup. Plus, metal grating on the second story deck provides shade from the summer sun. The interior styling is relatively simple, with some fun features for the kiddos.
What do you think? Will silo homes become more popular? Should we level our garage and put one out back? I’m not sure I’m ready to do that, but I do think they’re an interesting idea. I’ll be keeping my eye on this trend…