Mother Earth Living


Earthship Kansas: A Home Made of Old Tires

A couple spends two years building a massive, yet light and airy, home out of old tires.



The 3,000-square-foot house feels open yet massive and secure at the same time.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
The master bathroom’s shower features a Navy surplus porthole and cobalt blue one inch by one inch tiles.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Curves are infinitely more appealing to David Millstein than angles. The core of his family’s modified earthship is egg shaped and whimsically ringed with Navy-surplus portholes.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Ye old cement mixer
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Red oak shelving milled on-site and a tinted plaster ceiling grace this nook on the second floor landing.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
A walnut cabinet stands near the doorway between the activity/dining room and the living room. Both rooms feature recycled maple floors and tinted plaster walls.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Each tire in the concrete wall is filled with roughly 350 pounds of dirt. Twelve hundred tires were used in the project.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Recycled building materials are one of the cornerstones of the Millsteins’ modified earthship home. Windows shown here are framed with recycled cypress wood, rescued from a mushroom barn near Kansas City.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
The Millsteins’ passive solar sunroom is paved with squares of limestone and shale. Because of county building codes, the sunroom’s plants cannot act as filters for graywater as in classically constructed earthships, but tropical and semitropical plants and herbs thrive in the indoor environment.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Susan and David Millstein own and manage the historic Liberty Hall in Lawrence, Kansas, a 1,050-seat theatre for concerts, films, and performing arts.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
Marble reclaimed from a Kansas City hospital graces the floor of the Millsteins’ curved entryway. The circa 1974 stained glass panel inset into the Millsteins’ front door formerly decorated the entrance to a local art glass business. Tinted plaster covers all interior walls, eliminating the need for paint.
Photo By Lark Smothermon
The Millsteins’ floorplan shows off the house’s graceful aerodynamic shape.
Illustration by Gayle Ford
Curves are infinitely more appealing to David Millstein than angles. The core of his family’s modified earthship is egg shaped and whimsically ringed with Navy-surplus portholes.
Illustration by Gayle Ford





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