New Old Barn
The owners fell in love with the character and scale of North American, antique, barn frames and dreamed of importing one to New Zealand since 2005. After discovering ‘Heritage Barns’ who specialise in dismantling and restoring old barn frames, they travelled to Texas to view their facilities. Without having purchased a site, they bought a nine metre high Eastern Hemlock frame, originally built in the 1860’s as the larger of two barns on the Walton Farm in Ontario, Canada.
Having secured the barn frame, they turned their attention to finding the perfect site. The search took 18 months, and after two failed attempts to secure a section, they fell in love with a site in the foothills of the Dome Valley Forest with abundant mature trees, a waterfall and a derelict cow shed.
The site is part of one of the original farms in the Warkworth area. Europeans settled here in the 1860’s, around the same time the Walton Barn was being constructed in Canada. The farm passed to James Henry Goatley who arrived from England in 1883 and in the 1970’s, the most recent owners ran an angora goat stud (a coincidental link to the name of the earlier owner).
Auckland based Architecture firm ‘Milieu’ was approached to undertake the complex task of transforming the 160 year old barn frame into a modern New Zealand home. The exterior of the barn will use contemporary materials to contrast with the heritage barn structure. Metal cladding will wrap the exterior of the building, softened by rough sawn timber on the west facing approach.
‘Milieu’ have designed a grand, double height dining hall in the centre of the barn, with steel and timber mezzanine floors on either side, to house the bedrooms and library. The modern steel insertions will exhibit a high level of craftsmanship, similar in care and attention to that taken by the original craftsmen of the Walton Barn.
Construction is due to commence in 2019, when a team from ‘Heritage Barns’ in Texas will arrive to assemble the barn frame, then local builders will take over and complete the building.