What is it that everyone loves about barns? Despite the fact that our society is increasingly removed from its agrarian roots—or perhaps because of it—humans retain a great affection for farm forms. A few clients even come to believe that a barn would make a perfect house. The challenge for architects is to evoke the barn’s poetic essence while solving the more prosaic requirements of a functional dwelling.
No firm is more suited to this task of distillation and reinvention than Joeb Moore & Partners. The design for this 17-acre lakeside property in rural Connecticut comes by its barn aspirations honestly—it’s a working horse farm for a family of enthusiast riders.
Says Joeb, “The inspiration for the house, when we were searching for different precedents for typological farms, was the tobacco barns that dominated the Connecticut belt. The idea is of something that’s an extrusion of a very simple form. We took the tobacco barn roof and used that as the key design element. The building is very linear, and that’s a response to the meadow, farmland, and rolling hill to the lake.”
On the street-side elevation, that long, low-slung roof appears to hover above the base of the house, exposed concrete site walls giving way to what Joeb calls “solar ribs,” or the glazed openings. On the water side of the house, the solar ribs segue into a two-story window wall to capture the sweeping pastoral view down the slope to the lake.
Connecticut Backcountry Farmlands
Architect: Principal-in-charge of design Joeb Moore, FAIA; associate principals Leigh Stewart, AIA, and Devin Picard, AIA; staff designer Robert Scott, Associate AIA, Joeb Moore & Partners Architects, Greenwich, Conn.
Landscape Architects: Principal-in-charge Kathryn Herman; staff designer Joseph Werner, Doyle Herman Design Associates, Greenwich
Builder: Paul Tallman and Bill Manderville, Tallman Building Company, Southport, Conn.
Civil Engineer: Principal-in-charge Len D’Andrea; staff Bryan French, Rocco V. D’Andrea, Inc., Land Planners, Engineers, Surveyors
Environmental Engineers: Director of Passive House Services Lois Arena, Steven Winter & Associates, Inc.
Structural Engineers: Principal-in-charge Ramon Gilsanz; project manager Jessica Mandrick, Gilsanz, Murray, Steficek, Engineers
Zero Energy Design, Inc.: Principal in-charge Stephanie Horowitz, Indoor Air Quality
Lighting Design: Principal in-charge of Design Martin van Koolbergen, KGM Architectural Lighting
Drawings and models: Joeb Moore & Partners Architects