- Engineering: Tomás Yañez.
- Carpentry: Rosamel González.
- City: Padre Hurtado
- Country: Chile
Text description provided by the architects. The project consists of a small wooden barn for storing bales and carrying out agricultural work that requires protection from the elements. It addresses a basic agricultural necessity, which is generally solved by installing a prefabricated metal shed. Emerging among the landscape of fields, its design strategies are targeted towards keeping the grass in optimal storage conditions by means of ventilation solutions, sunlight control, and humidity reduction. We challenged ourselves to resolve the nave with radiata pine pieces available on the market, using their full length and aiming to waste as little material as possible; no laminates or special parts were used.
The nave stands on a concrete rectangular foundation that serves three functions: distancing the wooden structure from the ground's moisture, keeping the interior space dry, and easing the loading and unloading of trucks or wagons that take and leave bales on a daily basis. Studs were fixed upon this foundation to make up the perimetral structure of the barn, arranged outside the nave to optimize the interior space, thus achieving continuous interior walls that simplify storage and help avoid corners—a frequent source of filth. The studs mark an uninterrupted vertical rhythm which, highlighted by the shadows they cast on the façade, establishes a permanent contrast between the barn's geometrical purity and the irregularity of the open landscape in which it stands. The truss mounted on these studs is made up of 3 triangles that support the roof without interfering with the storage volume, and that, by the repetition of the truss, form three air corridors that keep the interior fresh and ventilated. The triangles at both ends make up two large eaves that increase shelter options, inside the nave and around it.
Although the commission was a barn for bale storage, the nave was designed to accommodate various uses, including a potential workshop or other uses related to inhabitance. inhabiting the nave. For this reason, the use of orientation controlled natural light was considered essential. To the north and south, controlled light flows in from above the walls and from under the eaves that shield from the prevailing rains. The light from the west was let in through horizontal blinds that reflect the light inwards while avoiding the entry of direct beams. The eastern light was treated in the same way, but from the height of the gate up. When opened, the generous double sheet gate fully connects the nave with the exterior. Given the rotation and variation of crops, both annually and over longer periods, programmatic flexibility stands out as a very relevant attribute in this type of agricultural barn. By keeping this agricultural reality in mind and ensuring certain minimum good conditions through design strategies, this project is able to serve well over time, become a part of its location, and avoid replacement with each change of crop, thus lessening the impact that both building and demolishing impose on our landscape.