Is That A Mars Habitat? A Submarine? A Spaceship? Nope: It’s Home.

[Jan Körbes], an architect living with his daughter in Berlin, specializes in recycling materials. Inspired by discarded grain silos he saw across the Netherlands, he converted one into a micro-home that you would almost expect to see on the surface of mars. The guided tour in the video below give a pretty good feel for the space station feel of the abode.

A lot of the silo house’s design was inspired by [Körbes’] childhood of growing up on boats. It’s exceptionally functional and nearly every nook and cranny of the home can be altered, repurposed, and changed back. For instance: the two pantries on the main floor used to the toilet and shower, but since the silo home is currently set up at ZK/U — Center for Arts and Urbanistics in Berlin — they make use of the facilities there instead.

True to his specialization of creative recycling , a lot of the materials for the house were either donated, or bought at a steep discount due to various reasons. For instance, the windows were a small, unpopular size for most houses but work well here. This led to an evolving design of the house as it was being built, but everything [Körbes] and his daughter need is present inside of fourteen square metres on three floors.

Under the floor on the main level is a bathtub with infrared heating — the cover doubling as the dining table with feet dangling into the tub underneath. The kitchen has a small oven, an old camp stove, and fridge — enough for two people — and the sink uses a foot-activated button so the [Körbes’] use only as much water as they need. A nearby small wood stove with an extendable wood storage basket heats the space.

The house’s electrical (including a solar battery) and water systems are tucked into the basement beside the books, keeping the heavier objects low in such a tall and narrow dwelling. Larger rainwater collection tanks (a hack we’re quite fond of) surrounding the silo house also add ballast in case of storm.

With a two metre ceiling height on the main floor and nearly as much in the bunking quarters upstairs — accessed by a climbing wall, [Körbes] says the space feels much larger than you would expect. Large enough, at least, to host a standing record of a 38-person party. It’s fun to see the ingenuity that goes into tiny living space design. If you missed it, check out these CNC plywood designs for building homes.

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WALL-O-TRON, the interactive rock climbing wall

Last April, hackerspaces around the country received a gift from RedBull for their creation challenge. The hackerspace teams were charged with creating, ‘something with LEDs’ and let loose in their workshop for a chance to win a trip to NYC and build some cool stuff. Of course, RedBull couldn’t bring all the teams to the big apple and a few incredible projects were left by the wayside in their home hackerspace.

One such project was the WALL-O-TRON from Team Rabbit-Hole and home base for the Tymkrs. It’s a huge wall embedded with LEDs that turn an ordinary rock climbing wall into a game called WallSweeper – climb a path to the illuminated hold, but don’t touch the ‘hot rock’ or your game is over.

The hand holds are illuminated by over 300 of LEDs connected to a Linux PC. The sign above the wall is controlled by RedBull’s TurBULL Encabulator, and the giant ‘WALL-O-TRON’ letters are huge pieces of foam with five meters of RGB LEDs embedded inside.

A great project with the possibility of being upgraded in the future with more games. Perfect for the rock climbing playground it’s situated in.

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