Who wouldn’t want to turn a grain silo into a home?

Who wouldn’t want to turn a grain silo into a home? add

An unassuming grain silo is stealing the limelight in the small semi-rural town of Little River. SiloStay, located just 50 minutes outside of Christchurch, is an eco-friendly, alternative accommodation for travellers looking to enjoy the trails and natural beauty of the local area.

Built out of grain silos, the accommodation provides guests with a kitted-out cylinder that has been maximised to contain a kitchenette, dining area, bathroom and queen bed in a compact, well designed space.

The genius behind the concept was owner Stuart Wright-Stow, he took his idea to F3 Design to bring it to reality. F3 Design is headed by Stuart's son Pippin Wright-Stow - a professional member of ADNZ.

"F3 Design has worked on the project for going on four years, says Pippin. "We have been part of every process, from the design, mock-ups and prototypes to documentation and site observation - it has been an all-in job for us."

The whole project has been very successful and very eco-focused, with a considerable amount of time and energy spent on developing new systems and innovative eco practices.

"Wool is the insulation of choice and 95% of the wood used is untreated timber, says Pippin. "A renewable wood pellet boiler system was designed especially for the project and an on-site waste water treatment system using a worm farm and eco-trench dispersal was also adopted. During the build we managed to ensure minimal ground excavation and throughout have tried to use recycled materials including re-using old-farm equipment in the landscape design."

The project has received much praise and a considerable amount of media attention. The unique use of silos, the eco-friendly nature and the rural location of the build combine to spark a genuine interest from tourists, media and the general public.

"We all love to admire the things we have always dreamed of doing, says Pippin. "Who wouldn't want to turn a grain silo into a home? The project has also been very well crafted and has shown a unique attention to detail. Even the light switches and fittings are custom made. You don't get that in every project."

Pippin has an obvious passion for innovative design. His other major project over the last few years has been Christchurch's ArtBox, an art gallery developed using a modular cube construction, and this year he embarks on a personal project to build a home for his family utilising the system.

"I enjoy different and unusual projects. The uniqueness of SiloStay has made it enjoyable to work on but also what has made it a challenge. Every one of the people that have worked on this project has loved it. They have been committed to making it the best they can. It has been a laugh or cry project - I guess that's what you get from working near the edge", says Pippin.

SiloStay has been open for just over a month and so far has been a great success with accommodation being fully booked on a regular basis.

"At this point the worst feedback in the suggestion box has been that we need to provide can-openers, says Pippin. "We think that is a pretty good start."

Words by Rebecca Kinraid