The site is located on a rolling 150 acre property in the scenic Blue Mountains of Southern Ontario. We were tasked to design and oversee construction of a multi use out building for a co-operatively run farm and not for profit organization. The challenge was to create an adaptable building capable of accommodating uses as diverse as farm-machinery storage and visual or performance art studio space while simultaneously fitting in with the landscape and existing architecture.


For the overall feel of the building we were inspired by the thatched cottages of England and Denmark with their thick roof lines and overhanging eves. We also wanted to incorporate the lines of the traditional gambrel barns of southern Ontario as homage to the architecture of the region.


The building is an amalgam of modern and traditional types of construction.  ICF (Insulated Cement Form) construction was used for the lower level which allowed us to partially submerge the building into a hill without concerns of frost or ground water damage.  Meanwhile, traditional timber frame construction for the loft, complete with a custom designed and engineered timber frame truss with a clear 16’ span, created a wide open space with no central support which maximizes the flexibility of the space.


The resulting building is nestled into the landscape and feels as if it has always been there.  Within its first year it seamlessly provided a room of requirement for whatever the community needed, including serving as a venue for weddings, barn dances, daily studio space and ceramic workshops. We are proud that this honest yet whimsical barn will continue to serve its owners for generations to come.