Jono Williams has taken the concept of the man-cave to new heights. Looking something like a giant steel lollipop, Williams' Skysphere is a solar-powered, Android-controlled hideaway perched high above the New Zealand countryside that would put even the most painstakingly decked-out shed to shame.
Designed and built by plastics engineer and graphic designer Jono Williams, the Skysphere was originally conceived as a treehouse. But after toying with his designs for some months, Williams decided the potential for weather damage and difficulties created by tree growth meant that a steel tower would be a better option, with more flexibility in terms of location.
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The main structure itself comprises a circular room surrounded by curved hoops and supported by a tall hollow column. Access to the tower-top space is provided by way of welded ladder rungs inside the central column, which is accessed via a motorized door with fingerprint entry at the bottom. Two further doors provide access to the room at the top and to what Williams calls a "rooftop starview platform." The whole structure is mounted upon of 17 cu m (600 cu ft) of concrete foundations.
The Skysphere provides a 360-degree viewing window that is 2 m (7 ft) high and has a circumference of 14 m (46 ft). "Too many times I’ve seen tree houses with the really small windows and I'm like 'what’s the point building something in a tree when you can’t appreciate the surroundings?'" Williams explains on the Skysphere website. "With my window, you won’t be short of a nice view."
In addition to providing big, panoramic views of the night sky and the surrounding countryside, the Skysphere has a portal to allow natural light in during the day. It also has adjustable colored LED lighting. The lighting, along with all of the other electrics, are powered entirely by strips of solar panels installed on each of the hoops.
There's also a refrigerated beer dispenser built into the couch, a Miracast projector and a wireless sound-system. The whole setup is controlled via a smartphone app or via voice commands.
The comforts are rounded-off by a custom-made queen-size bed and high-speed internet provides access to the outside world and to entertainment content. There is currently no bathroom, but Williams is planning to add one outside among the trees
The project has cost US$50,000 in the way of materials so far, plus around 3,000 hours of Williams' own time working on the project. The designs were finalized towards the end of 2012 and the Skysphere is now nearing completion.Source: The Skysphere View gallery - 8 images