On thousands of farms across the continent, round metal grain bins (called “grain silos” in some regions) are standing empty or being torn down and sold for scrap because they’re no longer in use.
Architects and builders have started to use these durable, inexpensive structures to construct grain bin homes, storage buildings, offices and barns. After the bin is in place, it requires virtually no maintenance.
There are all sorts of interesting ways to use individual bins or group them together to make an attractive, comfortable home. We encourage readers to explore the most unique uses for metal grain bins ,especially used bins to make their own home.
Located in the heart of Downtown Phoenix’s up-and-coming Garfield Historic District, the Silo House is a converted 1955 corrugated steel-wall grain silo.
With a 230sf footprint and 340sf total livable space, a central design challenge was attaining a sense of ‘home’ within a shape and size foreign to common perceptions of home.
Spaciousness and simplicity are achieved by accommodating all functions for living in a two-story walnut and black steel crescent that hugs the silo’s southern perimeter. This approach maximizes construction efficiency, usable floor space, and the perceived spatial volume of the interior.
Subterranean air ducts that mitigate mechanical noise from the air conditioning system also work passively, in conjunction with an operable skylight at the top of the silo to deliver passive cooling.
The beauty and creativity in this project you can see for yourself.
Photography by Mark Lipczynski