We've been kicking around lots of big ideas for the multi-level barn across the street. The space functioned in previous incarnations as a home for pigs, hay storage, and a catch-all for earthly possessions from tricycles to church altars. In the ensuing years discussions for future plans included recording studio, yoga center, workshop, radio station, and sleeping space.
We've settled on the following ideas for the Art Barn, which will largely be utilized by our new nonprofit venture betterArts:
- Downstairs: studio and gallery space, wood stove heat, convert carport into space for welding, woodworking and the like
- Second Floor: Yoga and dance studio, can also double as a practice space for musicians
Last spring we hauled in a dumpster and emptied most of the barn, leaving us room to begin our Doors Project in the summer. Then the hay was cleared from the second floor, and we took our measurements for sliding doors, windows, a wood stove, outside staircase, balcony, the works.
I sat down a couple of months ago and threw together some rough illustrations, for example this proposed idea for the barn's second floor:
Then I was told our town doesn't allow spiral stairs; and that for art space, indirect light is best (duh). So back to the drawing board I went, moving windows to the east wall and making a mental note that the best access to the second floor without sacrificing space involved an exterior staircase stretching along that same east wall.
If you're like us and willing to move ideas around based on what supplies are available, when shopping for windows and doors be sure to check with your local hardware store about their overstock, or ordered items that went unused in previous projects. You can find great deals this way on really good products.
We break proverbial ground this week, framing in windows and doors and completing the batten work on the outside of the space. Once we're weatherproofed and framed in, the barn will get wired for solar or wind, then insulated. Check back in regularly for updates!