An American-Style Barn Meets The Iconic Australian Shed, In Queensland

This project by Paul Uhlmann Architects shows what happens when you combine two unlikely influences – the classic American barn, and the iconic Australian shed!

This distinctive weekender in Pullenvale, Queensland sits at the end of a valley, close to Brisbane city, but tucked into a little slice of paradise.

Lucy Feagins
Supports The Design Files

The Barn in Pullenvale, Queensland, by Paul Ulhman Architect, styling by Porch Light Interiors, building by Cullum Hughes from CGH Constructions. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

An iconic and arresting roof profile. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Cathedral like space! Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Plenty of space for entertaining. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Timber everywhere! Photo – Andy MacPherson.

American barn meets Australian shed. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

The space is designed to be naturally cooled through ventilation in summer. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

The skylights welcome natural light in. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Photo – Andy MacPherson.

The bright and sleek bathroom. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Bunk room! Photo – Andy MacPherson.

An iconic structure. Photo – Andy MacPherson.

Lucy Feagins
28th of November 2019

The brief to Paul Uhlmann Architects was to create a fun weekender on their Pullenvale property, inspired by the classic red and white American Barn aesthetic. Paul and his team began creating designs responding to this brief, with a distinctly Australian flair.

Paul explains ‘rather than a red and white, American-looking building, we quickly introduced the idea of an oiled timber building that would grey and age over time.’ The form of the building was shaped by placing the bedrooms within the roof space, which allowed the structure to have a single form and strong silhouette against the landscape. To modernise and ‘Australian-ise’ the barn, Paul describes how the architects introduced a curve, as an alternative to the traditional gable roof. Twenty designs and drawings later, and hint of inspiration from early Glenn Murcutt work, and the form was achieved!

The barn is designed to be cosy and warm in the winter, and open and breezy in the summer. The roof space offers sky windows for views and ventilation for the first floor bathrooms, bedrooms, and a kids bunk room, while the lower floor opens out with sliding hardwood baton sleeves. Paul explains ‘these provide security, cross ventilation, throughout the living/dining and kitchen area, shading during the day, and light up like a lantern at night.’

The dramatic exterior is matched by the voluminous interiors. The cathedral-like ceiling creates a sense of generosity and expansiveness, while the details provide plenty of warm corners and cosy nooks. Paul highlights that ‘there is timber basically everywhere’ which provides a material warmth and texture. The internal timber linings were finely band sawn and oiled, in contrast to the external hardwood board and batten cladding, which were finished to patina over time and fade to grey/into the landscape.

The barn is topped off with Zincalumane roof sheeting – a material nod to the iconic Australian shed, realised in this bold new form.

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