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The Bauhaus Barn

August 10, 2010

A number of people have been asking nicely to see the “innards” of the miniaturized modified A-frame ( gambrel A-frame – Jack Wades A-frame  http://www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1985-11-01/Build-An-Inexpensive-Home-In-The-Backyard.aspx). I knew it was going to be a time consuming “black hole” type of project but I decided to proceed with it any way because folks had ask nicely.

When I was a kid spending my summers at my grandparents cabin on the lake I would love breaking into my grandfathers stacks of old Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines that he kept in a box by the fireplace.  These where from the golden age of the D.I.Y. magazines – 40s 50s and early sixties.  I remember fondly the diagrams in these mags. They where usually cartoon”ish”  in nature, with bold ink lines and bright watercolours.  They usually showed an exploded view of some d.i.y. projects – had a 3D perspective and the outer shell of what was being built was usually removed to give you a good look of how things went together.  I would study these drawings at night in my bunk with a flashlight.  The next morning I would be off on my 3 speed with the banana seat and ape hanger bars, scouring the neighborhood  for turpentine and tuna cans and some nuts and bolts to build myself a double burner alcohol stove.  I still have that stove somewhere.  I think that those old drawings are part of the reason why I was so captivated by the Bob Theis drawing of the Oikos cottage http://www.bobtheis.net/prototypes/oikoscottage.html . It is a great small home design and I hope that someone builds it someday but the drawing gives you the feeling for the homes brilliantly simple design and this one drawing contains the bulk of the building information – 20 minutes of studying it and you feel like you are ready to start pounding dirt into tires.

I had hoped to emulate these old drawings with the Bauhaus Barn.  I put a month of work into it ( of prime summer weather) and I am glad I did.  I will breaking this project post into a few bite size post pieces over the next couple weeks. There is a lot of stuff packed into this drawing. I actually skinned the the frame with 3/4 inch ply before I covered it with corrugated steel – and I have some cross bracing in the frame that is hidden – just because I wanted to see if it could be done. It sits on a 20′ x 20′ frame and it has an optional, small mud/mechanical room in the back.  The window dormer/workstations where designed to visually enlarge the space and the split level loft areas give the house a feeling of a big play house – the stacks of  old Popular Science and Popular Mechanics should be made a mandatory fixture in the Bauhaus Barn.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. August 15, 2010 8:40 pm

    I’m totally in love with this house! Thanks for posting (I found it over on TIny House Living…)

  2. August 15, 2010 9:03 pm

    Thank you Huw. You’ve pointed out that I need to thank Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design and Tiny House living for posting a link to my blog on his. “You and Your Wacky Sketch – Up projects that Don’t Go Anywhere” is close to it’s biggest traffic day ever because of him. Thank you Michael
    http://www.tinyhouseliving.com/
    I visited a friend this weekend who told me he likes my designs ( a big compliment coming from a buddy). He told me that I should build one of my projects and post photos on the blog. I told him that I would have to change the name of the blog ( gen x types have a need to be smart-Alex’s)….but seriously folks, I do plan to build at least one of my ideas – the blog provides me with an excellent exercise in discovering what I want in a small, affordable, green home.
    Craig

  3. August 19, 2010 9:24 am

    I like what you’ve done with the basic design of this A-frame. It’s the first house I considered in my search for affordable housing. I purchased the plans thru Mother Earth News a few years back, you have to love that it can be pre-fabed, then assembled on site. But then I discovered shipping containers. If you are interested, I have a design that I would appreciate getting your feedback on.

  4. Michael Schuetz permalink
    September 28, 2010 3:01 pm

    Hi Craig,

    I have to admit that I too am in love with this design! I’d love to see you release a set of plans for sale, or even the sketchup files, so that some of us who are lusting after this little abode could whip up one of our own. Personally, I’d like to stack strawbales up the walls for natural insulation but I love the look/layout that you’ve created!

    -Michael Schuetz

  5. Dustin permalink
    October 9, 2010 2:07 am

    This could be passable as a small 2br. It’s perfect. Would love to put soemthing liek this up in Vermont!

  6. Steve Clark permalink
    March 18, 2011 9:31 pm

    This really is one heck of a plan and the rendering style brings back some wonderful memories! I have just bought some mountain property and this plan might be perfect. Might you consider sharing the sketchup file?

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