The Woodworkers Barn is the second stage of Fabric Architecture’s renovation to a family home in Toukley, on the NSW Central Coast.
The main house on the site had undergone a major renovation in the previous year, but after living in the home, the client decided more room was needed, so the idea of a multi-purpose backyard space was born.
‘After meeting with clients to discuss their stage two, we designed on a steep, pitched ‘barn’ with feature timber doors making use of the client’s skill [as the owner of Loughlin Furniture],’ says Fabric Architecture director, Brent Fitzpatrick. The project showcases Loughlin Furniture’s craftsmanship on details from the Tasmanian oak barn doors and awning, to the American oak staircase and bulkhead feature.
The reasons for this barn aesthetic were twofold: to complement the architecture of the nearby main house, and incorporate high ceilings able to make the most of the structure’s small footprint. ‘The challenge was how to make a small footprint feel large and airy,’ says Brent. ‘This was achieved through the steep, pitched roof, allowing plenty of internal height. The loft is also stopped short of the front wall to create a large void and emphasise the volume. Velux skylights were also key to flood the interiors with natural light.’ The design also takes cues from classic Australian cottages that once lined this coastal peninsula. ‘Our Woodworkers Barn makes reference to the humble qualities of the cottage, while highlighting these details through exquisite craftsmanship,’ Brent says.
This backyard space is now used in myriad ways: a gym; a place for the kids to have movie nights with neighbours, and as an extension of the home’s outdoor entertaining area. ‘They just open the big barn doors and the guests spread from the barn to the back deck, as it is all in close proximity and visible,’ explains Brent.
‘It’s not often the end result is better than what we anticipate, but this was one of those projects. We must say it’s all credit to the clients passion, craftsmanship and style.’