In a lush field in Linton, New Zealand, Jono Williams’ all-white Skysphere tower stands alone. It’s probably the most hi-tech building for hundreds of miles.
Designed and built by Williams himself, Skysphere reached completion earlier this February. It sets a new standard of futuristic living, complete with app-controlled lighting fixtures, a voice-controlled beer dispenser in the couch, and the ability to go into “zombie mode,” in which the front door automatically locks with a “Good luck” message from Williams’ phone.
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But let’s take a closer look at the details, starting with the fact Williams pulled the idea practically from thin air.
“To be honest, I don’t even know where the idea came from,” Williams recently told Living Big In A Tiny House. “I was just kinda sitting there, and I had this idea, this vision, and then I just did it. I modeled it on a computer and then built it.”
Skysphere follows up on a smaller treehouse Williams built completely from recycled materials.
The new building, in a similar eco-friendly mindset, relies entirely on solar power as its source of energy.
According to Williams, he built the house to be both portable and strong. It can reportedly withstand an 8.5-magnitude earthquake and 125 mph winds, and still is detachable enough for Williams to uproot it without much effort.
The entire project cost roughly $50,000, Williams states on the Skysphere website, with more than 3,000 hours of his time invested in the DIY home.
Skysphere isn’t totally habitable over the long-term. The building still lacks internal plumbing, so Williams can’t build a bathroom or shower just yet. But, like all great treehouses, he’s still installed furniture in the 360-degree space, TV included — he just doesn’t have to run a cable from his parents’ house to use it.
Williams says if he does decide to make Skysphere a fully livable space, he’d construct a “bathroom module” at the bottom of the tower and perhaps a shower in the nearby woods.
Otherwise, he’ll continue flicking on the strobe lights when people are over and projecting cricket matches onto his windows when he’d like to watch a game in solitude.
Which, in the middle of a New Zealand field, perched high in his swanky tree house, doesn’t seem all that hard to accomplish.