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Designers are giving grain bins a new life in Kansas.

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Designers are giving grain bins a new life in Kansas.

July 06
16:57 2022
Repurposing grain bins into a lodging center on Osage city farmlands!

one of the entries

Humankind fabricates infrastructure to fulfill its diverse needs. They have been a tangible part of the human lifestyle for a very long time. All infrastructure has a useful life and this cycle must be reinvented at the end of this life. 

Humans use huge equipment for storage in several industries. The infrastructure employed for such purposes is built to survive for a very long time. But with the technology constantly evolving, newly efficient and more sustainable types of equipment are being made available, which are rendering the old storage solutions useless. Naturally, they end up in junkyards which are increasing waste production each day. Barren lands are converted into landfills to hold staggering heaps of waste material. Not only does the land get polluted as the junk remains there for an endless amount of time, but the quality of the surrounding environment also depreciates.

How can we give these large pieces of equipment a new life?

There are several types of equipment that are used for storage by different industries. Steel grain bins are one of the most common systems used in agriculture for the storage of grains. These cylindrical storage silos are widely used in many developed countries on farmlands. They have been in use for a very long time and are now being replaced by tower silos made of concrete and other storage infrastructure. In the present circumstances of huge food storage demands, these grain bins are losing their relevance of use since they were not designed originally for such capacities. This provides an opportunity to reinvent the way we use grain bins. Repurposing of infrastructure into livable spaces is an ongoing trend. Since these grain bins have stood the test of time for the last 100 years, they can survive for a century more.

Can we imagine the use of grain bins to extend beyond their intended use?

Brief: The challenge of the competition is to design a lodging center by repurposing steel grain bins in an innovative way.

Steel grain bins of diameter 21 feet are part of this challenge. The participants are required to use a minimum of 6 such bins (no more than 12 bins) to create a space that can be used by the members of a farming community to lodge their trainees, visiting the farm for training. The lodges can be rented for 2-3 weeks. The aim of the challenge is to understand how equipment of the past can be repurposed to meet the needs of the present. The recycling of the steel grain bins must be done conscientiously taking into consideration its various limitations. 

The lodging center is designed to accommodate agriculture enthusiasts and trainees who will visit the city farms, to gain knowledge about agriculture processes and trade. Privacy and interaction must be guided in the layout as per the nature of the activity. The sociocultural, economic, and environmental settings of context are to be considered in the design. The jury for the competition consisted of esteemed designers, professionals, and academicians from around the world. The Lead Jurors for the competitions were as follows:

Haemee Han & Jaeyual Lee, Director, Jaemee Studio, United States

Some of the Best competition projects are as follows:

Winning Project: Earn & Learn

By: Olivia Riley

Description: Re-purposing grain bins as a catalyst for economic empowerment for the whole community. In Kansas, a stage right at the heart of the USA, like Osage city. As of the 2010 United States, Census there were 2943 people living in the city they comprised 1213 households, of which 757 were families.

People’s Choice: RE-UTILITY: Grain bins for housing

By: Diana Zakharyan

Description: the laconic black-and-white color scheme of the facades of the residential blocks is diluted with pink administrative and recreational blocks. Administrative block is inspired by a lot of wind in Kansas. cut sections of the silo are raised and form a spiral that resembles the trajectory of the wind. the same technique is repeated in the canopy over the recreation area.

Editor’s Choice: Open-Source, Open Minds

By: Lew Rogers, Andy Clarke & Olanrewaju Awotunde

Description: Osage City Farming Community & Wellness Hub: Promoting Wellbeing in the Farming Community. Once home to a thriving coal mining community and more recently host to several large-scale manufacturing businesses including can build modular Homes factory and Norseman Plastic.

Editor’s Choice: GRAINEP


Description: It is the removal of the used grain storage bins. and is about to be eliminated It is reused and designed as an accommodation center for Osage City agricultural training or visits. Designed with an emphasis on the interaction of people in order to exchange experiences, knowledge, techniques, and others about agriculture.

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