Silo House

This is a pretty big house for this blog, it is a whooping 500 square feet, but the design and its focus on solar are amazing!  The house uses very practical materials for the external cladding.

here is an excerpt from the description

The cylinders’ design was inspired by industrial agricultural materials. The structure was made by CorTen corrugated steel as the cladding and exposed steel beams on the interior. The house takes advantage of solar gain from the steel envelope through an innovative skin-integrated solar thermal system that pre-heats hot water. Each cylinder has two operable Velux® skylights to maximize the natural lighting.

The interior was designed by combining the agricultural and industrial aesthetic through a contemporary lens. The materials chosen were considered to be eco-friendly. The primary material pallete is made from forested black locust, ash and beech hardwoods from local area. They are complemented by the use of zero off-gassing finishes throughout the entirety of the house interior. Nanawall™ systems are used as the boundary between the courtyard, bedroom, and living room, blur the distinction between interior and exterior space. The kitchen was designed to provide energy efficient cooking activities, also to combine between cooking and entertaining activities. In the bedroom, the bed is raised into a a concealed ceiling box to create an open and usable space in its footprint.


14 thoughts on “Silo House

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention The Tiny Life , Archive » Silo House --

  2. Joaquin

    That house is beautiful. Great attention to design and multi-material incorporation with the silo. Killer post!

  3. Steve Hathaway

    a thought/question:

    does the standard definition of a house’s ‘square feet’ serve to describe a structure such as this?

    On the one hand, it has a lot of outside patio-type space that isn’t included in a standard measurement of its ‘square feet’, but on the other hand, with the curved walls, there’s bound to be some ‘less useful’ floor space inside (love to hear how new ways of thinking about curved walls allows fuller use of rooms with such).

    I’m thinking of how lofts are a big part of Tiny House designs, but don’t count.

    Not sure what the solution is, but thought the question was interesting to consider.

    1. Ryan Mitchell Post author

      Very good point!

      Curved walls can be both a blessing and a curse, sometimes layout is tough.


  4. Sheryl

    This was Cornell’s house in last year’s solar decathlon in Washington, DC on the Mall. Very cool house, except the bedroom was impractical. Who wants to put up and take down a bed each day? Other houses did better on this measure. What the silos accomplished was to give the rooms more separation (as in traditional houses) than in the other houses in the competition and to have the shape be a distinctive part of the identity of house.

    1. Ryan Mitchell Post author

      It looks like, but I am not sure, is that the bed is on a track which raises it to the ceiling, I thing this is on a motor. I’m not sure on this, but I have seen a similar look bed design that does so I am guessing this one does too.


  5. Peter

    It has both a dedicated eat-in kitchen and living room, I don’t see a real need for a bed to be moved for use.

  6. Anne

    Love this. Beautifully designed and put together. Day to day, bed down… for company/special occasions/more space needed days, up.


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