The Barn
Rural QLD, Australia
Well recognised for their distinctive architectural forms, Paul Uhlmann Architects are no strangers to fulfilling a client’s individual requirements for a home. The Barn is a perfect example of the firm’s commitment to creating “diverse and expressive responses” reflective of those who inhabit them.
Paul Uhlmann Architects
Andy Macpherson Studio

Having spent time in the USA, the clients of this project developed an appreciation for the local architecture and desired a rural weekender influenced by the American-style barn. Through a thorough design process with Paul and his team, the brief evolved to reflect the rural, Australian backdrop and the surrounding bush environment.


The Story Behind The Design

The form of barns and rural buildings are innately utilitarian; built at an economic rate and featuring large volumes that cater for storing equipment and livestock. “This building used the simple form of a large rural building and reinterpreted the edges of the building with a rounded roof, sliding hardwood screens and a huge glazed end section”, explains Paul.To refine the practical shed form, the architects introduced a feminine curve to the roofline instead of a traditional, sloping gable. This detail elevated the design integrity of the exterior and resulted in voluminous, light-filled interiors.


Steering away from the iconic American red and white, Paul and his team developed the building’s aesthetic to be in keeping with the Australian bush landscape. “The materials selected were envisaged to fade into the grey bushland backdrop”, says Paul. “The rawness reflected its rural location and desire to live in a space that has a rough handmade quality”.

The materials selected were envisaged to fade into the grey bushland backdrop. The rawness reflected its rural location and desire to live in a space that have a rough handmade quality.

Paul Uhlmann

Silver hardwood cladding dressed the outside of the building and zincalumane corrugated sheeting, a quintessentially Australian material, wrapped the curvaceous roof. Both materials will patina over time, aging gracefully and blending in with the surrounding foliage.

Take A Closer Look

Inside, there is a sense of sparsity one might expect from a utilitarian shed. However, the verticals clad in finely band-sawn and oiled timber linings inject warmth and refinement to the space. Bringing relief to the interior’s palette and remaining true to the barn style is natural stone. “The Chalford Limestone was chosen for the surface texture variation and change of colour over the expansive floor”, explains Paul.“There is a rural sophisticated feel to the stone flooring. Having an earthy floor was an important part of the natural material selection.” Emphasising the rural aesthetic, a generous fireplace clad in Korora Freeform stone graces the barn’s living area. The use of the Korora continues out in the landscape to offer visual continuity.

File transferred from Cumulus

Signature Element

The quality of the natural timber hardwood cladding and the Chalford Limestone flooring elevated the design of The Barn. Together the materials provide warmth and sophistication customary of such a resolved architectural form, yet coupled with the rawness and durability one would expect from an Australian barn-style shed.


With a significant amount of carpentry required throughout the interior and exterior of the building, superior workmanship was a integral element of the build. “The quality of CGH Constructions played an important part in the success of the building,” explains Paul who describes combining the recycled hardwood and the building’s steel members was one of the main structural challenges faced.

The rural bush setting, while incredibly beautiful, also posed environmental challenges, explains Paul. Bushfire, flood and ecological concerns were all overcome throughout the design process. The result – a highly resolved and distinguished rural escape that seamlessly combines American influences with a quintessentially Australian aesthetic.

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