We’re currently working on a few projects where we’re being called upon to design barns. While researching the architectural styles of barns, I became mildly amused by my current scholarly investigation. In rural North Alabama, where I grew up, no architect ever laid a genteel creative hand upon a barn; they were humble agricultural necessities. Standing quietly like a cow grazing in the field, these structures were the ultimate in form follows function. They simply were because they needed to be. I remember playing in the barn on hot summer days where arranging dense rectangular hay bales into fanciful forts became unintentional pre-architectural training. Rusty implements were abundant and lay ready to threaten the ever-bare foot with Lock-Jaw (whatever that was – an ignored parental warning). Old tires, abandoned doors and scurrying mice were the accessories of my early designs. In the still, hot air of these dusty lairs, imagination was king and the majestic realm was vast.
I now sit in my glamorous, conditioned and well-appointed office trying to artistically replicate that Arcadian magic of my youth. It’s suddenly clear why I’m being commissioned to design these “gentlemen barns” (as they’re now called). I’m basically designing these fashionable sheds for guys who were just like me. We’re all grown-up now but always yearn to return to the long, simple days where a cavernous rural ramshackle held our unburdened thoughts captive.
While I’m sketching, I may slip off my shoes. Come on Lock-Jaw. You don’t scare me.
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