Renovation to Barn for “A” Family
project name : Renovation to Barn for “A” Family
location : Red Hook, New York
year of design: 1988
client: Name withheld at owner’s request
architect: George Ranalli
associates: Robert Silman Structural Engineer
design team: John Butterworth, Nathaniel Worden
photographer: Model Photos: George Ranalli
In pastoral upstate New York, an old barn in a rolling landscape inspires the architectural imagination. The reverie of massive posts and rafters over a high-peaked timber frame, softened by the century- old patina of rough hand-shaped beams, creates a desire for spatial particularity in what is essentially a massive blank room, originally meant for tractors and horses. This project adapts an old rustic dairy barn for reuse as a residence for a family of four weekenders from the city. The remarkably intact, energy-efficient, and weather-tight interior of the one hundred-year-old structure, fashioned from handmade hatchet-hewn timber construction, preserves the character of the old barn.
The architectural design introduces two differently configured, three storey sculptural volumes—one for the owners, and another for their guests—to shape 6,000 square feet of space inside the old barn. Thirty eight feet high columnar supports define a central area, with a large open kitchen, a dining area, lounge, and plenty of room for indoor recreation and entertainment. The densities and transparencies of the two color-tinted plaster forms incorporate existing structural elements, the timbers, and particularly the rafters, into an intimate geometry of interior spaces. Private rooms for sleeping, bathing, yoga, and reading orient around gently moving passageways, and a central stair, which offers vistas to the landscape, and views of the expansive interior.