Client: City of Muncie
Location: Muncie, IN, United States
Completion date: 2009
Adam Buente, Kyle Perry
Project One Studio
Project One Studio
Zahner - Design & Fabrication
reBarn began with a large donation of reclaimed barn wood from a family’s local “Pennsylvania-style” barn. Working with Muncie Parks, West Side Park was chosen for its potential to enhance the public recreational trail along the White River in Muncie, Indiana. reBarn aims to provide single or multiple users with a semi-programmed platform that is suitable for a variety of uses. While its use is not specifically determined, a sense of human scale and proportions is embedded in the layout of the panels.
It was important for us to use the wood as efficiently as possible, maintain the history and quality of the material, and employ innovative strategies for its application. Rather than completely removing all imperfections, we made the decision to utilize the uniqueness of each piece and expose this on the project’s surface. In order to make milling of the barn wood viable, each piece was de-nailed, power washed, and any area that was unusable was removed. Each board was then numbered and its species, length, width, depth, and interesting characteristics were recorded. The quantity of stock totaled 275 pieces, averaging at 80 inches long and 6.5 inches wide with a consistent depth around1 inch for a total of about 300,000 square feet.
Connections between individual wood components and panels were informed by a partnership with Zahner Metals. In order to offset the traditional material and hidden fabrication techniques, we involved Zahner in the process early on. We visited their shop in Kansas City to discuss materials, tolerances, and processes. The continued discussions with their engineers via phone and email allowed our team to finalize the aluminum components. This resulted in five water jet cut aluminum surface panels, and over 350 variable aluminum joints.
Each three or four sided wood panel is made up of a series of individual components, connected by a continuous dovetail joint that runs around the perimeter. The wood panels are connected to each other by aluminum joints, embed in the assembly process. Each aluminum joint accommodates the specific angle between one panel of wood and its adjoining panel. Consideration of the sequence of assembly and fabrication was equally important as the development of the joinery techniques.