Glass Bearing Walls: The Dairy House

Located on an 850-acre estate in Somerset, England, The Dairy House is an adaptive re-use project turning a series of old run-down barn buildings and sheds into a five-bedroom home.  Various lean-to roofs were removed from the existing structures and connections were designed between them.  An attempt was made to use as many local materials as possible, and they even were able to utilize timber that was located on the property.  The project was pulled of beautifully with the desire to create an un-designed looking design.

One major part of the addition of the home was an extension made of glass and wood.  The architects took note of the drying timber to be used for the home stacked near by and decided to use the idea of drying wood in the homes aesthetic.  They took the idea of drying lumber separated by spacers to improve drying and used this for the additions walls.  The voids created by the spacers were filled with thick pieces of glass cut and stacked parallel to the timber.  This rustic-looking technique no only allowed for exterior bearing, it also created a significant amount of privacy while letting in tons of light.

The interior of the building is filled with different patterns of bluish light creating patterns on the walls.  The glass sheets are also laminated together and rubber gaskets between them and the timber create a weatherproof seal.  The exterior of the wood and glass is left rather rough, while the interior of the building is sanded to a smooth finish.  Although the building displays a very interesting and innovative use of glass, all of the glass was donated and this aesthetic would not have been affordable without it.


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