Traditional and Contemporary: Basic Geometry of Texas Barn Design

 In Blog

Because barns are by their nature utilitarian structures, many present a contemporary appearance, with a basic geometry that is absent superficial adornment. Their resulting profiles are bold, particularly when juxtaposed with other buildings and create an interplay of slashing shadows throughout the day. When integrating historic barns with his newer designs, Texas architect Steve Chambers, works to remain sensitive to the original character of the early structure. “Our firm’s objective for the end result is to allow the original structure to ‘take center stage,’ rather than disguising it with distracting elements. The simple geometry and detail of the early Texas built environment is elegant and refreshing. The three-dimensional massing, planes, proportions, relationships and materials allow us to use these early Texas forms in our designs, regardless of our clients’ leanings toward traditional or modern residential architecture,” says Steve Chambers, AIA.

Where adornments do occur on barns, they are often purposeful. Consequently, their simple geometry is easily connected, conjoined, and contrasted with either traditional or contemporary residential architecture. Successful barn conversions to residences require a respect for the integrity of the features that give these original structures their character. It’s tempting to impose clever devices in place of the earlier vocabulary of the structure. But, architects experienced in the vernacular from which barns derive their personality and sense of place, are able to keep the narrative of the design honest and authentic. “We keep what makes the barn ‘a barn’ and show how it originally worked as one,” says Chambers. “In our designs for new barns, we respect what the setting and topography of the land informs their design and that of a new adjoining ranch home to be.”

Throughout American history, farmers have built barns to shelter livestock and store their harvest. A vast variety of barn styles can be seen throughout the United States, each design adapted for unique weather conditions and cultural traditions. A steeply peaked roof for example is usually seen in regions with considerable snowfall since the weight of snow stresses the roof and can collapse a barn.

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Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado residential, home, homes, house, houses architect. Designer, Interior designer, barn design.Tiny grapes emerge on the Cynthiana vines at Chris Hornbaker’s sustainable vineyard, a new no spray vineyard using sustainable practices. The vineyard home, designed by Chambers Architects, Dallas, Texas.