Newlywed couple converts grain silo into unusual first home (Video)

Christoph Kaiser
© Christoph Kaiser

Grain silos don't have to be restricted to holding grain. In fact, we've seen them converted into anything from climbing walls to interactive urban spaces.

They can also be converted into small homes, as this newlywed couple did, transforming an old silo from 1955 into their first home. Located in Phoenix, Arizona, this awesome 366-square-foot house was designed and built by architect Christoph Kaiser and stylist Shauna Thibault. Kaiser initially bought the silo off Craigslist, thinking that he would use it to store tools. But what they did instead is create a delightful place that they now call home, as you can see from this video tour via Zillow:

Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser

It took over 18 months to complete the project, with much of the cabinetry and furnishings being constructed by Kaiser himself, in order to fit the round shape of the silo. The space is mostly open, except for a bathroom enclosed behind a cabinet door, so a sleeping loft was added above to add some privacy. The loft doubles as a personal IMAX cinema, with speakers hidden under the bed to deliver that extra bit of sonic theatricality. Interestingly, Thibault notes that sleeping in a round space feels somehow more restful and safe than in a square space.

Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser
ZillowZillow/Video screen capture
Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser
ZillowZillow/Video screen capture
Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser

There is a tall, custom sliding door that provides access to the backyard, which also helps to link up the interior with the exterior, giving a sense that the home is larger than its shell. “To have the benefit of outdoor space, which is an extension of the living space, is huge,” Kaiser says.

Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser
Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser
Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser
Christoph Kaiser© Christoph Kaiser

There's an outdoor shower that allows you to get clean while enjoying the shade of the trees. According to Kaiser, there are subterranean air ducts that passively offset noise from the air conditioning system, in addition to an openable skylight at the very top of the silo that helps to cool the interior down.

ZillowZillow/Video screen capture

Though there are many benefits to moving into a smaller space, there were challenges that the couple happily took in stride, such as shedding things down to the bare essentials, as well as learning very quickly how to keep things harmonious in such a small space. Says Kaiser:

I think there’s an intimacy that’s imposed on people when they’re in one space. You can’t find that separation… It makes you confront issues more, and it really brings you together.

It's encouraging to see that one can think even further outside of the box when living in small homes; you see more over at Zillow and Christoph Kaiser.

Tags: Arizona | Less Is More | Living With Less | Recycled Building Materials | Small Spaces | video

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