2011 Recipient | AIA Housing Awards
Blair Barn House | Notes of Interest
The Blair Barn House takes cues from classic nineteenth-century barns and updates them for the twenty-first century. Features include barn siding that allows for filtered light through a few large, strategically placed openings, a sleeping loft that creates an airy respite, and lower level bedrooms that provide cozy, down-to-earth privacy.
Two volumes- one in steel, the other in hardwood strips- have been inserted into the open, two-story “barn space” where they provide under- and over-spaces like a hayloft and granary floor. The goal was to build a modern design that is still acceptable in a rural community where families have lived for generations. The design gives a nod to farm technology and respects a farmer's common-sense approach to changing seasons and his/her respective tasks.
The Blair Barn House utilizes a geothermal heating system, passive solar/sun shading and the strategic placement of windows for reduced heat loss. A concrete thermal mass floor integrates in-floor heat. The warped west facade gives nod to the graceful, aging, grey-barn neighbor, and features great sliding porch doors. Inside, ropes and pulleys operate lights and doors. Outside, awnings of steel and cable provide for adjustable light infiltration. Locally harvested 4/4 rough-sawn white oak creates a rain screen as an exterior skin. Together with clients, the architect put together a program of creating a full-time house with three bedrooms, two and a half baths, and adequate storage. The project is 2600 gross square feet, with 1850 finished square feet.
- Construction: Empire Development
- Engineering: Stroh Engineering
- Photo Credit: © Alchemy LLC
Blair Barn House
- Architect: Alchemy
- Owner: Donna Brogan and Bert Hodous
- Location: Blair, Wis.
The house transforms into a beautiful lantern at night.
This wonderful and stunning modern take on the original reflects and updates the soul of the original barn
2011 AIA Housing Awards Jury
- Katherine Austin, AIA, Chair
- Katherine Austin Architect
- Sebastopol, Calif.
- Claire Conroy
- Residential Architecture Magazine
- Washington, D.C.
- Mike Jackson, FAIA
- Historical Preservation Agency
- State of Illinois
- Springfield, Ill.
- Luis Jauregui, AIA
- Jaurequi, Inc.
- Austin, Tex.
- Marilys Nepomechie, FAIA
- Florida International University Miami
- Coconut Grove, Fla.