Architecture

Smartphone-controlled hideaway takes the man-cave to a whole new level

The Skysphere provides a 360-degree viewing window that is 2 m (7 ft) high and has a circumference of 14 m (46 ft)
The Skysphere provides a 360-degree viewing window that is 2 m (7 ft) high and has a circumference of 14 m (46 ft)
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The Skysphere provides a 360-degree viewing window that is 2 m (7 ft) high and has a circumference of 14 m (46 ft)
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The Skysphere provides a 360-degree viewing window that is 2 m (7 ft) high and has a circumference of 14 m (46 ft)
The Skysphere has adjustable colored LED lighting
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The Skysphere has adjustable colored LED lighting
The main structure itself comprises a circular room surrounded by curved hoops and supported by a tall hollow column
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The main structure itself comprises a circular room surrounded by curved hoops and supported by a tall hollow column
The Skysphere is mounted upon of 17 cu m (600 cu ft) of concrete foundations
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The Skysphere is mounted upon of 17 cu m (600 cu ft) of concrete foundations
The Skysphere features bespoke furniture and views over the surrounding countryside
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The Skysphere features bespoke furniture and views over the surrounding countryside
The Skysphere features a queen-size bed
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The Skysphere features a queen-size bed
The Skysphere has a refrigerated beer dispenser that is built into the couch
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The Skysphere has a refrigerated beer dispenser that is built into the couch
The Skysphere's electrical appliances are all powered by a solar array
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The Skysphere's electrical appliances are all powered by a solar array

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.

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."

The Skysphere has a refrigerated beer dispenser that is built into the couch
The Skysphere has a refrigerated beer dispenser that is built into the couch

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 Skysphere is mounted upon of 17 cu m (600 cu ft) of concrete foundations
The Skysphere is mounted upon of 17 cu m (600 cu ft) of concrete foundations

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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

6 comments
tangential
Odd choice putting a pink sofa in a 'man cave'
Cadence
Re comment 1, Looks to me like a white sofa with pink lighting. Just as odd, but maybe the lighting was selected by the photog. An odd feature of the thing - again, especially for a man-cave - is variable color led lighting. That's an odd choice itself. And is that red/rose color glass? Could be the lighting if the photo was in very dim daylight. And as for the no bathroom, do any of the windows open? That could be a big help for any men drinking that beer.
Tom Lee Mullins
I think that is really cool. In colder climates, having a dome roof might make more sense since it could prevent a lot of snow from piling up on it. Perhaps a inverted dome on the bottom to give it a spherical look to it plus provide space for storage and other things? I think a spiral staircase would be better than a ladder with metal rungs. I agree with the suggestions above, Perhaps a small bathroom after consuming large amounts of beverage - alcohol or otherwise - would be great. Perhaps not consuming too much alcohol would be recommended otherwise managing the ladder might be a problem.
Rann Xeroxx
Not sure about "Skysphere", more like a Skydisk maybe. I always wanted to convert a modern water tower to a Jetsons style home.
RyanGalkowski
It's actually RGB LED lighting, as the header pic shows blue and there's another couple pics in the gallery that show them as green. Why the photographer chose pink in the one pic I don't know... probably just swapping it up among pictures to show it can be changed.
Calson
Amazing that he can get high speed internet out in the countryside of New Zealand. I am in a community of 17,000 people in California and I cannot even get DSL and pay $400 a month for a T-1 line that provides 1.5 Mb/s speed. These would make superior "cabin" for use in bear country with their height increased to 10 feet and a great vantage point for photography.