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Used silos transform into sustainably tiny houses

Global Goals & Global Society
Used silos transform into sustainably tiny houses

Using what's there: Stella van Beers wants to encourage clever living solutions - with an unusual Tiny House.

While vast amounts of raw materials are used for new buildings every year, Stella van Beers encourages people to use what's there instead. As part of the final project for her design degree, she transformed the place where grain was once stored into a shelter for wanderers. That the 22-year-old chose this object, of all things, is no coincidence. Even in her childhood, she was fascinated by the feed silos on farms and wondered what the cylindrical colossi looked like from the inside. When it came to finding a topic for the final exam, she remembered this childhood thought and the idea was born.

From grain silo to Tiny House

It's been eight months since the six-and-a-half-meter-high, 750-kilo grain silo was hoisted onto a trailer with a large excavator. Then the work began for van Beers: cleaning out the interior, cutting out window openings for each of the two floors, laying wooden floors.

Just one and a half months later, thanks to many helping hands, the time had come: a grain silo had been transformed into an extraordinary Tiny House, whose cylindrical shape is somewhat reminiscent of a futuristic rocket. Visitors can now climb a ladder to the second floor, where a skylight offers a view of the clouds - or the night sky, as a mattress provides the perfect place to sleep. At the moment, however, the Tiny House at the Op Kapittelsbos vacation residence in Grathem, the Netherlands, is mainly used as a place for meditation.

More than design

Stella van Beers' design studies have given her a lot to do with shapes, colors and aesthetics, but her projects are not just meant to look beautiful. She also wants to show how building can function sustainably. In her remodeling project, she relies entirely on second-hand and gives used materials a second life. In this way, she wants to encourage others to use what already exists for creative living concepts.

Just the beginning

The extraordinary Tiny House is not meant to remain a one-off. At the moment, van Beers is thinking about a whole series of hiking huts, preferably in places where the silos are already located, near farms, for example. An entire silo hiking trail could be created, along which people could hike from silo to silo and spend one or two nights there. She is also thinking about a silo forest - a temporary accommodation consisting of several silos put together. It will be interesting to see which of her many ideas may soon become reality.

Almost every aspect of how people live and work in society has been altered by technology. In just a few decades, technology has completely changed the world, from smart phones to the Internet. The experience of designing and constructing a structure has been significantly influenced by technology for architects, home builders, and home designers. Technology influences architectural design from beginning to end, even how clients interact with the design process. Technology can increase a building's durability and efficiency while also making it simpler for architects to render a building design more precisely.

At a time when human habitat is shrinking, there is a need for creative ideas from the global society to find sustainable and innovative solutions.


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