Silo Conversion

Macy M5281 views

And now to share my submission to the postponed Airbnb competition. This will likely be our first build, if we can find a good silo to use. There is one about 2 miles down the highway but they are asking quite a bit for it. We’ll see if we can work something out.

What is your unique Airbnb idea, and the inspiration behind it, that makes it a perfect fit for The Unique Airbnb Fund? (500)

My ultimate goal is to create an experiential space to learn about and physically explore different natural building methods, skills and processes. The long term plan includes seven structures of different natural and re-use building methods, integrating modern technologies and recycled materials. The first structure would be an homage to the region’s agricultural heritage and will be constructed from a repurposed grain silo. 

The silo structure is complementary to the overall goal of educating the public on sustainable practices regarding building, permaculture, agriculture and handcrafting. The main goal of our facility is to connect the public (digitally and in-person) with experienced craftsmen and trades people to perpetuate a DIY culture where people can feel comfortable learning new (old) skills and think holistically. The bnb structures will be provided to encourage a deeper experience to that goal. This grain silo will be centrally located near our classroom space for maximum visibility and interaction. 

The silo house will have integrated solar power, off-grid water collection and filtration. There will be a central shower space located in the classroom building. The grounds are currently being designed to encourage interaction with the overall facility. Visitors will be led by their own curiosity, prompted by educational opportunities hidden in plain sight through the seasons. For example, some fruits and/or veggies may be left for new arrivals with a prompt that leads them through the orchard or garden if they want to explore. Once there, there may be signage about how the orchard interacts with the water retention system pointing toward the pond and bioswales, or about pollinators which may lead to the beekeeping station. From there they can choose their own adventure and take the interconnected paths to learn about permaculture, building methods and holistic design.

The exterior:
I’ll keep the exterior very low key, as if you wouldn’t even know it was anything but a grain silo until you open the door. Each structure has a role to play in the overall aesthetic of the experience.

The interior: 
I want to create a bright and airy interior that contrasts with the utilitarian exterior. I picture a comfortable living space that also showcases the unique agricultural history of our region. I am custom designing wall paper/decor based on schematics of farm equipment like grain elevators and mechanical implements. Simple, modern and diagrammatic, made cozy through textures and natural materials. The color scheme will be taken directly from the rich and dramatic colors of the seasons on the Palouse hills; browns, golds, greens and white. The design of the furnishings will incorporate locally sourced and preserved crops, sealed in epoxy resins.

My hope is to have guests who leave with a curiosity for their natural environment. 

Optional: What is particularly unique about your Airbnb idea (for example: is it an unusual shape or style; is it surprising; is it inspired by everyday objects, animals or places that are easily recognizable and interesting; does the interior design reflect the exterior design aesthetic (i.e., if it’s a potato house, and the interior walls look like potato starch)? (50)

The most unique aspect of this Airbnb idea is the holistic nature of the overall facility. It’s as much a unique experience as it is a safe and comfortable space to rest your body. This project compliments our mission of education through hands on experience.

Optional: How is your project beneficial to the environment and/or how does your project have a positive social or community impact? (50)

The heart of our mission is to be beneficial to the environment. I hope to bring much needed visibility to our human roots. Offering comfortable opportunities to return to a simpler time and learn to work with the environment instead of adapting it to suit us. 

As we sit right now the shop is complete. We were going to move Daisy (the tractor) in to start working on her to replace the clutch. We’re wildly under prepared to do that. We found that out by first trying to replace the starter and realizing we don’t even have a good socket wench up here to do that. We’ve justified paying way too much to have the local shop fix her they will pick her up Monday or Tuesday. While in the shop we’ll be making a fast trip back to Boise to pick up the rest of our stuff (including our mattress! Excited to get off this air mattress!). Then we’ll keep going on our projects. We have plans to build a storage shed for our water totes and food. I’m only guessing this winter will be a disaster when Covid resurges (if it even slows down…), we want to be prepared for that. Then a small garden.


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