What the Big Barn is all about

•November 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Big Barn Project was created to document the designing and remodeling of an old barn into an art studio.  This particular barn was built 50 years ago using old rail road tracks, timber and corrugated iron.  It was used as a milking parlor and for storage of winter hay. For the last 20 years it has been for storage of farm equipment but has become derelect. The building was leaking and threatening collapse from dry-rot.  The Big Barn Project is to save this space and create a new life for it.

The location of the Big Barn is in the southwest of Ireland in a historical area called Kilcoe. It is on a 30 acres of old farmland, much of which is planted with native species and reclaimed by nature. The property has beach access and a historical church that was built around 1400.


50 year old hay barn,

2000 sq. ft,

Ft 40 x Ft 50 floor plan,

30 Ft. tall at peak,

Made of :  Corrugated Iron, Railroad Ties, Oak beams

Harvest Party

•September 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Early last spring my neighbor, Eamon planted 3 acres of oats on our land.  To celebrate the 4 ton harvest we invited our families together and had a little party.  It was a merry and fantastic evening of food, drinks, poetry and songs. A brilliant night ! Thank you to all in attendance and to all the people who made it happen.

New pictures

•September 22, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Hello all. I am writing to you from the beautiful island of Maui, Hawaii.  I have just arrived here and I am just about over jet lag and am settled in.  I will be here working for the next 6 months doing some interesting projects. While I am here I will post to this blog, but unfortunately the Big barn project will not be the main focus.  I will be researching new technologies to incorporate into the barn for heating and insulation.  And also creating some new 3D renderings of the interior space to come. So there will be something from time to time.

For this batch of photos I have the last pictures I was able to grab before I left. I literally was working on the barn the day before I left, putting on the final barge boards and roof cap. I did not get any photographs after this but you would not have noticed much difference in the pictures anyway.  The barn is now water tight and ready for the Irish winter. I am very confident that what I have built will withstand the gales and storms the west coast of Ireland will get.

I am leaving the build very satisfied with what I have produced and I look forward to the work that will be created out of this new and dry space.  In the words of myself  ” It’s amazing what you can do if you just try”


•September 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have just completed the exterior remodel of the barn. The new steel cladding and larch are all around the sides of the space. I also had a digger come in and clear a space for the car port that will be built on my return from Hawaii. The last few details are being buttoned up before my departure this week. Doors need to happen but will have to wait.  I am liking what has happened the interior space and light is amazing. And I am really looking forword to my return so I may begin using this space to make sculpture.

Attached are a few photos of whats been happening. All the best until spring.

New pictures

•August 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

New pictures from the inside of the barn and the driveway/carport  side entrance.

Felt membrane as a moisture barrier and 2 old teak windows that were demoed from the main house.

Timber siding

•August 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Big barn, all 2,000 sq. feet of it, is about to be completed. And when I say completed, I mean the exterior only.

Plans have changed and I am leaving the country for 5 months, but I will return in the spring and begin work on the inside.

These photos are of the new Larch* exterior of the East side of the barn. I choose this material because it is naturally weather resistant and also it warmed the visual transition between the white concrete main house.  I have also inserted an image from when I started this remodel in May to remind you all what it looked like before.

I will post another round of photos of the finished building in a week or so. It is so close !!

Larch sample

*Larch is a wood valued for its tough, waterproof and durable qualities; top quality knot-free timber is in great demand for building yachts and other small boats, for exterior cladding of buildings and interior panelling. The timber is resistant to rot when in contact with the ground, and is suitable for use as posts and in fencing.

We’re back

•August 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Here I am one month later apologising for not keeping up on my blog. I have been working though, it is just that my camera broke so there have not been many pictures taken.

The roof is complete and looks fantastic. I have been putting in windows, building stone walls and putting siding on the new outside walls.  These pictures here are of those walls being built.  I will try to get more pictures soon. Promise.

Roof is going UP

•June 25, 2010 • 2 Comments

I have been very consumed by the barn and have just let this blog teeter on extinction but be ready it is back!!

So, the new images will show you how we put on the external skin of the roof.  It was a massive job getting these 25 foot sheets up a ladder and on a roof but it all went smooth. We ended up replacing most of the old timbers because of dry-rot and wood worms.  At one point we jacked up the whole A-frame to slid out the old beams and get in new ones. And it went well without a hitch. I will let the photos do the rest of the talking but everything is moving along just fine.  We have not had a bad day of weather in over a month.  This is some sort of record. And I am of course getting out on the water to enjoy some of it.


•June 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Progress is happening here on the irish coastline.  We have had some remarkable days and have almost finished the roof.  I am losing my buddy Willie tomorrow so things will slow down a bit.  So, I may be able to keep up with this blog a bit better. For the most part its been steady work everyday and we have come a long way. Most recently with some structural modifications that involved raising the roof and replacing support beams. Amazing things have happened in the last few weeks and the whole place is taking shape quickly.  I will update soon with some new pictures.

New Timber Purlins

•June 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

All the beams or Purlins have gone up. Then the rain came and put us off a few days.

Everything is looking great.