reBarn

Overview

reBarn is a dialogue between the history of its primary material, reused barn wood, and contemporary tools. It is a balance of natural materials and innovative details. The assembly creates a framework for interaction by park users, becoming a bench, a platform for a picnic, and a playground for children.

Details

Completed: 2009
Medium: Reclaimed Barnwood, Aluminum
Location: Muncie, IN
Client: City of Muncie
Size: 38’ x 17’ x 5’

Description
This project was commissioned by the Muncie parks system in partnership with Ball State University and the Institute for Digital Fabrication. It was sited at West Side Park to enhance the public recreational trail along the White River. It aims to provide single or multiple visitors with a semi-programmed platform that is suitable for a variety of uses. While its use is not specifically determined, a sense of human scale and proportions is embedded in the layout of the panels, and its form is pulled specifically from the site as it creates a third levee above the river.

reBarn began as a dialogue between digital and analog processes, natural and man-made materials, and traditional and innovative details. The assembly tectonic was informed by the traditional cross bracing that occurs behind the skin of a barn. This technique was employed using a locking dovetail system, creating a framework to begin developing the form. Subtle details were employed to express the age of the wood. The expansion and contraction of the exterior wood creates gaps in the siding, resulting in a uniquely filtered quality of light on the interior of the barn. The filleted space between each board references this natural aging.

Its regionalism is expressed by the inherent textures and character. Some boards retain the initials of the barn’s previous owners; other boards show places of wear from animals. These features tie the wood directly to its origins. The contrast between aged materials and the patterned aluminum panels strengthens the effect of each creating a richer whole.

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