at home in a tithe barn

BARN_16

Today’s project takes its impetus from the tithe barn (Fr. grange dimiere), medieval structures used to collect villagers’ tithes, which prior to the proliferation of cash was often given as a portion (one tenth) of the individual’s harvest.  These cumulative tithes required an elaborate barn to store them for safekeeping throughout the following year.  The structures are fabulous syntheses of the ecclesiastical and the secular – large, windowless stone or brick fortresses with soaring trussed, nave-like, roofs.

Barn conversions are fascinating to me, with the domesticization of the agricultural, and the tithe barn is no less so.  This project attempts to take the typical tithe barn and meet it with the domestic, with a large enclosed courtyard to compliment the truss-framed living room.

BARN_15

coffee church

COFFEE_01

Sitting in a local coffee shop, I began to wonder the great ‘what if’, and sketched out how I would have solved the problem.  Starting with a square (shocker), I drew out a central nave, complete with side aisles and a high altar – a wall of single origin small batch coffees complete with a cash wrap.  Sculptural skylights cut into the ‘nave’, while exposed lamps hang along the bottom of the ‘aisle’ soffits, not unlike old theatre marquees.  Grab a cup.  Stay awhile.  Amen.