abstract barn form - what's its history?

cj w.

been some time I last posted here, but a question by a colleague triggered the curiosity...

what is the history of the "abstracted barn form"?  sliding house by dRMM, Vitrahaus by Herzog de Meuron, stacked houses by Sou Fujimoto... does anyone know (or have any information on its timeline) who started this "trend", and when?


Dec 10, 12 6:04 am

I wouldn't really call it a "trend," but what you're describing sounds like critical regionalism / vernacular architecture. I highly recommend reading into Brian MacKay-Lyons work if you're interested in this aspect. You can also check out Frampton's essays on Critical Regionalism - great reading.

Dec 10, 12 8:28 pm

This doesn't answer your question, but Fay Jones also produced a design inspired by a barn: the Roy Reed residence.

Dec 10, 12 8:41 pm

i've been thinking about this one to figure out how to respond and all i can come up with is: did it ever go away? it's been around as sort of the go-to counterpoint to flat roofed modernism - sort of a built-in-critique-form.

i can't think of a time - post-modern, high modern, early- or pre-modern when the essential pitched-roof shape wasn't a trigger for the designer's desired associations. 

Dec 11, 12 7:31 am


No, it never went away.

The post-and-beam or column-and-lintel construct building used to provide a maximum amount of internal space is probably the second oldest building style following right behind the lean-to. 

Dec 11, 12 10:32 am
Erik Evens (EKE)


Dec 12, 12 11:53 am

i do reckon

Dec 12, 12 12:07 pm

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