Stone Barn at a Coastal Farm
Coastal Rhode Island
“Phase three of a multi-phased residential master plan is comprised of the restoration of a dormant dairy barn. The barn, relegated to catch-all storage, was a 40x50 foot stone structure that has been repurposed into a living room at the social center of a family compound. This is the fourth project over the course of 16 years on which the architects and clients have worked together discussing, planning and deftly implementing site sensitive architectural and landscape interventions.”
Situated at the highest elevation of the farm, the barn was originally a bank barn neatly tucked into the rolling topography. Over the course of several generations, changes of ownership and deferred maintenance, none of the original wood framing was salvageable.
The stone walls had a beautiful aged patina of chipped parging and yellow ochre lichen. Half of the walls required rebuilding, presenting a challenge to maintain the desired patina. The architects worked with the structural engineer and mason to attain a mortar mix that was sound and had the same weathered texture of the remaining walls.
A series of Douglas Fir, mortise and tenon heavy timber bents have been inserted into the barn’s stone shell. A pair of steel trusses, centered on the two west facing doors, creates an unencumbered central open space for large gatherings. An oversized, steel clad fireplace anchors the gathering space and extends the use of the barn into three seasons. A loft, accessed by a new stair, is positioned at the south end. The wood siding of the gable was stripped and replaced with custom glass shingles set into a light steel frame, opening up an expansive view, and in conjunction with a venting light monitor, providing an abundance of natural light to the main level.