SiloStay Accommodation, based in Little River, Banks Peninsula, New Zealand, is going against the grain. In this instance, proprietary grain silos are being used as individual motel units as part of an innovative, eco-friendly and affordable accommodation complex.
Stuart Wright-Stow, the man behind SiloStay, is a visionary, leader, and innovator. Stuart also co-owns the Little River Gallery, renowned in New Zealand for the quality, diversity and richness of its New Zealand made Art. Stuart’s view of life is slightly different to most folk. Stuart has a vision for objects beyond their primary form and saw the opportunity to push the boundaries of design and turn the agri-industrial silo structure into a unique, relevant accommodation solution for Little River.
SiloStay has eight single units each sleeping two people, an accessible family unit and a manager’s unit. Each two-storey unit is 8.7 metres high. The peak has a glazed lid allowing a glimpse of the night sky while relaxing in bed. Upstairs houses a queen-sized bed and en-suite while downstairs has a kitchen and living area.
Stuart and his design team, F3 Design, are passionate about environmental sustainability. They have designed an energy unit which houses a gravity fed wood pellet boiler to heat the complex. This sits within its own custom designed silo with glazed panels to view the energy in the making.
Little River region is blessed with no internationally recognised natural wonders, no Guggenheim, no fiords, no towering waterfalls, no natural hot pools. Some may see this as something lacking, while others may see the isolation and peacefulness as a bonus. It is this latter group that SiloStay and the environs of Little River tend to appeal.
Little River is not without its charms though. It sprawls among the hills at the head of Lake Wairewa just 50 minutes from Christchurch Airport. The landscape, formed by ancient volcanic eruptions, is abundant with wildlife and history. It is a great place to spend the day exploring, surfing, whale watching or generally losing yourself.
In pre-European times it was a vital communications and trading centre, and the number of Māori settlements (Pa) in the area highlights its strategic importance. The whole district from Little River to Birdlings Flat and the Lake Forsyth outlet is rich in Maori history and occupation sites.
The Eastern Bays region, about a kilometre from Little River, is renowned for its beaches, wildlife, surfing and the Peraki Bay’s whaling station monument. The South Eastern Bays houses the Okains Bay Museum with its nationally known collection of Maori and Early Colonial artefacts.