15 Apr Art Barn / Thomas Randall-Page
Art Barn / Thomas Randall-Page
Text description provided by the architects. The exterior was designed to follow the straightforward and utilitarian approach farmers have always taken to building barns.
The large, low-pitched volume is simply wrapped in vertical cedar boards. This skin gives way, at a horizontal datum to a galvanised steel skirt, amplifying the natural gradient of the land and protecting the timber from rain splash. Camouflaged in these metal and timber facades are a series of industrial scale shutters, playfully folding and sliding to reveal generous areas of glazing.
The project’s programmatic mix of archive, storage, and studio, with the fragmented pattern of use, led me to divide it into three distinct environmental zones.
Highly insulated, airtight and linier, the archive itself, with its sensor controlled dehumidification system, acts as a wall to the north. Most of the rest of the volume, housing the robust sculptures and hosting seasonal or active uses, remains unheated.
Inside, a freestanding ‘creature’ known as the ‘Winter Studio’ stands on stone hooves. Wearing a dark coat of natural cork and warmed by its own stove, this room-within-a-room is the project’s nerve centre. Beyond its door, a balcony offers long views out through the tree canopy and across the valley.
A major design move was the formalising of this sloping site into two terraces with a retaining wall. Starting in the landscape this element enters the building from the west and once inside turns back on its self to enclose the lower level and form part of the stair. The three split-levels provide novel perspectives of the work, altering perceptions of scale and revealing the subtlety with which they touch the ground.