Co.Design

A Family Turns Grain Silos Into A Set Of Hotel Suites

F3 Design finds a novel use for an overlooked industrial structure.

Real estate prices may have plummeted, but that doesn’t mean all of us can snatch up the home (or getaway cottage) of our dreams. Here’s a budget option for the other 99%: Convert an old grain bin into a house. (Check out some examples at Mother Earth News.) They’re sturdy and cheap, and the metal structure can be recycled when it’s outlived its use. Not fully sold on life-in-a-bin? Well, you’ll soon be able to give it a trial run at Silo Stay, a cluster of grain bins fitted out as a nine-unit hotel in Little River, New Zealand.

Silo Stay is a family venture: Stuart Wright-Stow dreamt up the concept and hired his son and daughter, Pippin and Ella of F3 Design, to execute it. The initial plan consists of eight single units, (each with a kitchen and living area on the bottom floor and a queen-size bed on the top), a family suite, and a manager’s quarters (consisting of two silos connected by a glass-enclosed hallway). Contrary to previous reports, the designers are not recycling disused silos but rather proprietary units customized to their specifications.

The hotel also has a fair share of eco-fixings: Each unit will be cooled by natural ventilation through the doors and roof latch and heated by a gravity-fed wood-pellet boiler. The peak has a glazed lid to give guests a glimpse of the night sky from bed.

The designers see other potential applications for their revamped bins. According to their press release: "These units can easily become inner city offices, batches for secluded hideaways, sleep-outs, information centres…or anything else that requires a compact vessel to accommodate the many needs of both the commercial and domestic sectors." Sure, though we’d advise against depositing these suckers in places prone to cyclones.

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  • Susan

    "Contrary to previous reports, the designers are not recycling disused silos but rather proprietary units customized to their specifications." turns this from an eco-friendly venture into just another gimmick. That's a shame