Modern Red Barn

A minimalist barn structure reinterprets a common New England building form.
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The entire barn façade is clad in Swisspearl Largo Carat panels in Red Coral 7031. Photograph by Paul Rivera.

A 10-acre estate is home to this abstract, minimalist barn—one of three buildings designed by Roger Ferris + Partners on a coastal Connecticut property. Set within an apple orchard, the structure was sited for optimal viewing from the street and so that the westerly public spaces receive afternoon sun, while the bedroom faces east to receive morning sun. The red exterior and simple gable form are evocative of a traditional barn. “Though the barn recalls a classic period and the chosen red color reinforces this imagery, the building houses its functions in minimalist, graphic efficiency and the barn’s clean lines resolve its abstracted form,” says Ferris.

“While the main house and pool house are oriented to the water, the Red Barn is set back from the shore and is visible from the road,” notes architect Roger Ferris. “It is this context to the site that inspired the barn form. Offering a historical nod to a regionally appropriate structure, the barn continues to reveal its contemporary identity as the viewer gets closer. It’s abstracted form is rooted in modern materials and functions as a stark counterpoint to the traditionalism of the estate.”

The 2,500-square-foot barn is completely clad in red Swisspearl panels that appear solid on the east and west sides but slatted in front of window walls on the shorter gable ends. An artist studio and workshop occupies the first floor, while the second floor is designed as a residence with a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and living areas. Programmatic flexibility is a major component of the barn’s design, as the first floor is highly reconfigurable. “The operable wall is a foldaway overhead door more commonly used for aircraft hangars,” explains Ferris. “It was used here to provide commercial-scale access to the first-floor space, so that it might be used as a sculpture studio, gallery or for vehicle access.”

The print version of this article appeared with the headline: Red Barn.