Flexible Design with Local Resources

This horse barn was designed by TimberHomes, and built in a timber framing workshop organized by Matthew Agrella-Sevilla, a long time employee who now lives in Brevard and works with Faulkner Woodworking. The design was was conceived around a plan to use the space currently as a horse barn, and turn it into a finished living space in the future. All of the timber came from the land the barn is built on, and was sawn on a portable bandsaw planted in a nearby field. As is true is so many contexts, using materials that are local, or sometimes from the site, was the logical choice, made financial sense, and made for a beautiful building.

The Frame Behind the Barn

The main part of the building is completely open. Three foot kneewalls upstairs allow for a lot of usable space, but create a thrust issue on the outer walls. To deal with that thrust without using unreasonable sized timbers, a steel tension rod was installed into the tie beams from the outsides of the posts.

The footprint of this frame grew during the design process, and it became clear that it could not be cut in a four day workshop. A crew of TimberHomes folks made the trek to Brevard, North Carolina to spend a week cutting half of the frame before the workshop began.

How a Horse Barn is Born

Cutting this frame in a workshop setting was inspired by Matt’s desire to give something back to the friend who owned this land, where he had been married. The class roster filled quickly, and a lively four days was spent warming hands in January by working chisels and beam saws, developing new muscle memory, puzzling through designs. The course culminated in a boom truck raising. The final long wall section was raised by hand by all people present- students, four of us from TimberHomes, friends, family, neighbors and all.