24 Exterior Barn Building Type Design Photos And Ideas

The gabled roof on Enough House puts it in conversation with the adjacent Troop barn and Cheboque schoolhouse, but its Cor-Ten steel exterior makes it a unique addition to Shobac.
Settled in the late 1800s in Pleasant Grove, Utah, Snuck Farm is still run by the same family but has now transformed from a traditional farmhouse into a community-oriented organization. The farm’s mission it to promote a sustainable lifestyle and to produce fresh, organic food that benefits the entire community. Louise Hill of Louise Hill Design collaborated with Lloyd Architects studio to design a new barn which combines public, private and work spaces.
Carl Turner and Mary Martin pose on the porch of the Stealth Barn, a multipurpose structure that plays as a guest cottage, office space, and escape from whatever may be cooking at Ochre Barn.
Inspired by hilltop views and traditional New England farm and barn structures, Marvin Architect's Challenge-winner Michael Waters of LDa Architecture & Interiors set out to strike the perfect balance between time-tested tradition and sophisticated, clean lines.
Tasked with expanding a 150-year old barn with a previous addition built in 1973 by architect Charles Gwathmey, Stamberg Aferiat brought a modern twist while respecting the original structure. Photo by: Paul Warchol.
The Balancing Barn in Suffolk: On the edge of a nature reserve a few miles from the Suffolk coast, the MVRDV-designed Balancing Barn cantilevers over the surrounding meadow.
"It only cost about $48,000 to build, which was incredibly cheap," says Turner of the Stealth Barn. "We got the Timber Frame Company to supply the shell, then we clad it and fitted out the interior and windows ourselves. The idea was to take the archetypal black tar-painted agricultural building and make an almost childlike icon of that."
The Troop barn was slated for demolition in the Annapolis Valley, but it was relocated to Shobac for restoration. The post-and-beam structure boasts a 35-foot cathedral ceiling.
A circular tower echoes the former gas storage cylinder that once occupied its place. It houses a private study.
From red painted cedar siding to no-fuss structural elements, Northworks’ solution reaches a happy medium between the classic barn look and a weekend retreat. “The best thing about this house,” explains one resident, “is that when it’s just the four of us, it feels cozy. But even when we’re hosting 25 people, it never feels crowded.”
The Pine Plains, New York, home of Elise and Arnold Goodman boasts 48 windows, the largest of which measures 8'6'' by 7'6''. As architect Preston Scott Cohen explains, the "free facade makes it impossible to identify how many levels there are, or even to tell the difference between a door and a window." From without, the windows reveal dramatic glimpses of the 18th-century barn farm and new steel structure that support the house. From within, says Elise, "Each season, each time of day, offers a different view of the world. It's spectacular."
Designers Russell Pinch and Oona Bannon kept many of the architectural details of the 300-year-old cow barn they turned into a second home, including its terra-cotta roof tiles. The primary structural change took place on the front facade, which they tore down and rebuilt, opening space for a traditional oeil-de-boeuf window. The door on the left opens to a workshop. In addition to designing furniture, the couple also create interiors for select clients.
White pine from the Roths’ own property was used for trim. Some of the wood was left unfinished, as were other elements. “Under the porch roof there’s no cladding,” notes Freiesleben. “If you had more money, you’d hide it, but it’s not necessary or even desirable.
While the house is a private sanctuary, the barn is a gathering place, especially in summer. On its lower level, a studio apartment recalls the main house with its Intus windows oriented to maximize solar gain.
Architects Antje Freiesleben and Johannes Modersohn combined two barn-like wings and a large connecting hall/breezeway for a retreat in New Brunswick. A space between the concrete foundation and the house’s raised wood platform allows the snowmelt to pass through in spring. The 21-foot-wide accordion doors are by HFBB Holzfensterbau Bernau and were shipped from Germany.
Steep roofs and tall internal spaces provide barnlike simplicity and facilitate an efficient multilevel design.
Using technology to design a home as energy-efficient as possible was a priority for Hague, both from a financial and philosophical standpoint. Along with Passive House certification for the main house, a solar array on the roof of the barn keeps energy use near zero. In fact, the entire property was Net Zero before the addition of the pool, and it may soon generate an energy surplus with the addition of a second solar array at the main house.

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.

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