The project pays tribute to a charming old barn that was slowly collapsing on the site. A time capsule from the early 20th century, the barn was filled with the stories of handmade barrels, coils of jute rope, and a classic island tackle shop tucked into a little corner—Maxwell House coffee cans filled with bits of fishing hardware, plank benches and shelves with tiny mirrors strategically mounted to watch for visitors while at work. The walls were paneled with boards and window frames salvaged from boats, ships, and previous barns, all painted varying shades of the coppery green found on traditional fishing vessels. A dark interior was pierced with rays of sunlight penetrating the narrow spaces between planked walls and roof. Hayloft doors at either end opened up to the giant ent of an apple tree at one end and the meadow that rises and falls toward salt spray to the east.
The task was to design a Swiss Army knife of a barn/garage/entertainment/work/workout space on the same modest footprint, while honoring the best features and details of the original structure. Landscape architect Derek van Lent provided a strong horticultural background. The clients were a legend in the magic of the technical theater industry, and a former dancer. They said “Yes!” to every whimsical idea, and provided vital backstage support for fabrication, mechanical engineering and choreography.