After first building this beautiful Greek revival home, these clients erected a re-claimed barn structure behind the house and about 8 feet above the first floor of the residence. The lower floor of the barn was used to house a small clutch of egg-laying chickens and some goats. The upper portion was essentially unused.

The program called for turning the upper floor of the barn into a 3-season dance space and adding a hot tub somewhere, but they also needed a better way to get to the barn in the winter which before was a long route that required arduous snow removal.

The solution was a bold connection via architectural bridge from the second floor of their home to the first floor of the barn. It reaches out from the house, through the landscape, and wraps around a small hot tub area with outdoor shower, before entering the barn. The preservation of existing trees and shrubs alongside the connector during construction helped it to fit more naturally on the land. The connector and hot tub overlook a modern boardwalk through beautiful wetlands filled with native Highbush Blueberries and Clethra (see “Boardwalk” project).

From within the house, the open but covered walkway connects seamlessly to the existing floor plan, tying it usefully into a hallway and stair from the first floor entrance. Also the hot tub area can be accessed conveniently from the Master Bedroom, and getting to the barn can now be done in slippers in the dead of winter. The plantings thoughtfully embrace all the new design elements amongst the beautiful existing mature trees and boulders

Also as part of this project, the first floor of the barn was renovated to more efficiently deal with animal needs, and the second floor was converted to an open dance space by getting rid of low collar ties and re-fitting the roof structure with scissor trusses to improve ceiling height issues.

Landscape Architect: Brian Higley
Design of architectural connector and barn interiors: Brian Higley
Engineering Consultant: M.A. Day Engineering P.C., Wappingers Falls, NY
Builder of connector and upper floor barn: Richard Shea Construction, Cold Spring, NY
Builder of lower barn interior and hot tub/shower area: Brian Higley
Planting design and installation by Anne Cleaves Symmes