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Barley Sheaf Barn Residence
San Antonio, TX

While serving as the in-house designer with the New Jersey Barn Company, one of our more unusual commissions came from San Antonio, Texas. The long distance location was a bit uncommon but the site was exceptional. The property within city limits was surrounded on 2 sides by a 7 acre bird sanctuary and had an existing 1960’s ranch house that sparked our creativity. The owners chose an impressive late 18th century New World Dutch barn as the centerpiece of their home. The ranch house was altered to serve as Garage, mudroom and Family room while a wing of new construction joined the ranch house to the barn. The resulting L-shaped plan creates an entry courtyard and arrival sequence and conserves the open space on the lot. A single story porch wraps the west side of the house, linking exterior living spaces and blocking the harsh afternoon sun. The large wagon doors and glazed opening are oriented to the south, harnessing natural daylight and taking advantage of the views into the wooded sanctuary. The foundation is wrapped in native Texas limestone, which reappears inside in the monumental fireplace and soaring chimney mass. Horizontal clapboard siding in wide exposure is traditional for Dutch barns and harmonizes with the horizontality of the ranch wing. The large volume of the timber frame, a striking backdrop for the Owners’ extensive collection of folk art and objects, serves as a generous and easily adaptable living space. The stained interior wood sheathing contrasts with the natural beauty and rough texture of the hand hewn timbers. The integration of mechanical and lighting systems was handled in a straight forward and functional way that is visually minimized within the barn.