Ann Willoughby was looking for a retreat and storage space to compliment her existing barn on her working farm outside of Kansas City, Missouri. The Willoughby Design Barn is actually brand new construction, but uses mostly reclaimed or recycled materials from a neighboring farm’s century old barn. The new barn made from old materials sits back behind the existing barn taking in the dramatic views of the farm and the fields and enjoys the cooling breezes from the nearby forest and sunny southern aspect for natural daylighting. Adjacent to the barn are the ruins of the farm’s original corncribs, which are visible in the photographs as a series of limestone walls.
By total cost, over 56% of the barn is made from recycled or reclaimed materials, but by volume or weight probably comprises much more. The barn’s timber frame came from the neighbor’s barn and the flooring came from a demolished grade school gymnasium. The heavy oak stair treads, cypress trim and the pine boards that sheath the interior construction were also reclaimed. Corrugated copper clads the exterior and is 90% recycled, while translucent fiberglass panels cover part of the roof to let daylight stream in. Operable windows, natural ventilation and awnings help keep the building cool in the hot summer sun.
What started off as a dilapidated barn has been transformed into an active and frequently used space. Since the barn was completed in 2001, it has been used for a variety of events including parties, conferences, seminars and much more.
Images @Mike Sinclair