The Modern Bank Barn by Birdseye

Bank Barn by BIrdseye

Birdseye is a Vermont architecture company that was founded in 1984. The company aims to provide a balance of craftsmanship, design and modern innovation. The company’s Bank Barn prject is one of the its most awarded barn homes we have seen. It went straight into the top of our favorite barnodominium style homes.

Modern Barn Architecture & Design

Birdseye is an award-winning design firm that started with an interest in design and woodworking, and has evolved into a firm that is employee-owned. The company wants to create beautiful structures that are built to the highest of design standards.

These standards are met with the help of a robust team that includes:

  • Architects
  • Wood workers
  • Machine operators
  • Metal workers

Working together, the team is able to create stunning projects that you won’t find anywhere else.

Birdseye has grown into one of the leading Vermont architecture firms, and the firm’s projects continue to innovate and build on classical designs.

One key project that Birdseye is known for is the Bank Barn.

What is a Bank Barn?

According to Wikipedia:

A bank barn or banked barn is a style of barn noted for its accessibility, at ground level, on two separate levels. Often built into the side of a hill, or bank, both the upper and the lower floors area could be accessed from ground level, one area at the top of the hill and the other at the bottom. The second level of a bank barn also could be accessed from a ramp if a hill was not available.

The Birdseye bank barn is located in a beautiful, rural area of Vermont. Inspired by farm structures built into the hills, Bank Barn features 160’ linear retaining walls and works off of the landscape’s natural, sloping topography.

Project Gallery

All images © Birdseye & Jim West Photography

The large retaining walls conceal the area of the home where garage space and support spaces exist.

Minimalistic in design, the first floor has walls made from large windows as well as exposed:

  • Steel
  • Concrete
  • Plaster
  • Curtainwall

Peeking out of the Bank Barn’s windows allows for an expansive view of the hills and countryside. The house’s position on the hilltop allows the owners a majestic view over the treetops into an ocean of green and blue

The Bank Barn works off of the peaceful environment and uses concrete to extend the walls to the immense outdoor space with:

  • Decks
  • Fire pit
  • Hot tub
  • Green roof

Inside, the steel staircase provides an elegant look and allows access to the barn’s upstairs bedrooms.

Energy was a key concern for the home’s designers from the beginning. Energy efficiency required consultations and an understanding of the thermal comfort and how to tie in the energy efficiency with the aesthetics of the home.

Large windowed walls are not naturally energy efficient, so the team implemented R-40 walls and an R-60 roof that used closed-cell polyurethane foam to reach into the home’s cavities for maximum airtightness.

The airtightness is rated at 0.6 ACH.

Bank Barn uses a lot of the traditional elements of a barn with a sleek, modern interior and windowed walls.

Additions that adhere to the barn look and style include:

  • Wood vertical siding, which also allows the space to meld in with the natural environment
  • Metal roof that has a steep gable that also helps with rain runoff
  • Rectangular plan design provides a true barn look
  • Deep-punched windows also add to the barn style and look

Inside, there is a column layout and steel beams on the first floor of the unit that feels both modern and old.

Total interior space includes several rooms, many of which have the triple-pane curtain wall that can be found on both the first and second floor of the building. The staircase is a staggering 16,000-pound metal structure that was placed inside of the building with a crane and was manufactured off site.

The interior includes:

  • 3-bedroom suites
  • Home office
  • Kitchen
  • Living room
  • Dining room

Future plans for the structure include an 18-kW solar array with plans to make Bank Barn a net-zero residence. Water-to-water and water-to-air systems are also in place that allow for maximum geothermal heating and cooling.

This project is a beautiful example of creating a large-scale home that melds perfectly into the surrounding landscape.