Size: 2,183 Sq Ft
Plot: 1 acre
Location: Sag Harbor, NY
Contractor: Blair Dibble Builders
Reclaimed Beams from Keystone Vintage Lumber
A modern barn house design built with sustainable materials
A couple requested a modern barn design for their weekend country house with an emphasis on an open living space for entertaining friends. This resulted in a thoughtfully designed home with many details, including a central wood burning fireplace that is visible from all points in the house, and an open plan living, dining, and kitchen area that is warm and welcoming.
The site presented some initial challenges as the ground sloped, causing water to flow into the basement. The previous house had been built at the bottom of the slope and had become damp as a consequence. It was decided it would be more beneficial to knock down the old house and site the new house higher on the property.
The architectural design responded to the realities of the residential location and the clients' needs for quiet and privacy. This contemporary barn is characterized by the double height sliding barn doors at the front, which open to an inner courtyard tiled with hexagonal terracotta tiles and the entrance to the house. The barn doors play an instrumental role in providing soundproofing and privacy from passing cars and passersby on such a busy road. This is especially true during the summer when traffic is frequently backed up.
The barn doors are made from 'Mushroom Wood', a material that comes from crates used to grow mushrooms. The acid from the mushrooms penetrates through the wood and preserves it making it very tough, textural and weather resistant. This is a not only a great way to recycle from an earlier agricultural use, it's also very economical and sustainable.
Ergonomic design within a contemporary home
The house was built according to Glazer's precise architectural design using salvaged beams from a 100-year-old barn that had been torn down, and solid mortise and tenon pegs were used to secure the beams. Mushroom wood was also used in the interior of the house as a screen in the dining room. The combination of rustic charm, Japanese design elements, and modern convenience results in a warm, contemporary home.
The clients spent the period of lockdown during the pandemic living in the barn, and had this to say about their experience:
"The house had risen to the challenge of supporting us in its new role as a pandemic bunker in a way we never could have expected. From a practical standpoint, we found that the house possessed ergonomic simplicity that enabled us to seamlessly transition to a full-time live-work scenario. The house literally calmed us as the world outside seemed to fall apart, providing a radiant soothing energy that literally helped us get through the day. We found ourselves thinking about our house, our home, with tremendous gratitude to it – and to Pam for her design vision – for being our lifeboat as we charted the crisis until with great reluctance we were obliged to leave our heartwarming shelter for NYC once more."