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.