Monday, June 16, 2014

My Houzz: Rustic Meets Refined in a Converted Ohio Barn

It is said that good things come to those who wait. That certainly was the case for architectural designer and builder Tim Franklin. After he had been eyeing a nearby farm for many years, it finally came on the market. “I always wanted to design a nontypical barn,” he says. “I jumped on it when it became available.”


Aware of the inherent design challenges, Franklin set out to create a home that paid homage to the building’s original purpose yet stood firmly in the 21st century. From deeply considering ways to recycle parts of the existing structure to employing cutting-edge environmental materials and utilities, he created a perfect union of past, present and future.



Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here: Tim Franklin, his children (ages 10 and 14) and their 4 cats, 2 dogs and 1 turtle
Location: Akron, Ohio
Size: 6,600 square feet (613 square meters); 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
Year built: 1810
That’s interesting: At 204 years old, this barn is the oldest of its kind in the area. It had never undergone any renovation until Franklin’s conversion.


Franklin preserved as much of the barn’s original layout as possible, which saved on construction costs and also helped maintain the integrity of the 204-year-old structure. Rather than completely reconfigure the interior spaces, he worked within them and chose materials like this steel railing to highlight and define each area.


“Creating a dramatic set of stairs without cumbersome framing” is what Franklin considered the greatest challenge during the design process. He came up with a plan of opposing staircases that created dynamic space — and didn’t obscure it — to connect the three stories.



Although massive in its footprint, the stair retains the open-air feeling of the home without compromising strength. Devoid of supporting posts and framework, the staircases seem to float. “The combination of steel stringers and rails, along with the hardwood steps, created enough strength for each set of stairs to literally be anchored by only four bolts,” Franklin says.



In keeping with the concept of recycling the barn’s original materials, Franklin cut and refinished old beams for the new stairs. Oak, hickory and black walnut treads are coupled with white steel stringers and railings.


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My Houzz: Rustic Meets Refined in a Converted Ohio Barn

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