Design Team: Sarina Bowen Kennerly, Owen Kennerly, and Jon Oelschig
Structural Engineer: Level Engineering
Mep: Peter Alspach
General Contractor: Fairweather & Associates
Text description provided by the architects. While taking extraordinary measures to respect its natural context, this new building replaces a dilapidated barn and is set among mature trees near a seasonal creek. Built to function as a daylight photography studio, the main workspace is a gabled basilica with the cross-sectional proportions of the old barn. It is structured by pre-engineered steel frames allowing unobstructed use of its interior volume.
The exterior is a tapestry of rusted Corten steel, polycarbonate, and sliding panels of redwood salvaged from the old barn. The polycarbonate forms a double skin assembly for the large translucent sections of roof and walls. Behind the redwood panels, four large glass doors offer cross ventilation and views clear through the building.
We advanced the expressive and functional possibilities of agricultural building methods, by transforming a pre-engineered metal building system through refinement of its proportions and the elaboration of its enclosure system. The space is heated radiantly from within the concrete floor slab and is passively cooled using thermal mass and natural ventilation assisted by fans high in the gables. Combined with seven inches of insulation and the double skin of polycarbonate, the resulting space is comfortable and calm. The design reveals the timeless modern attributes of agricultural structures.