A natural meadow below the main house in rural Sonoma County became the inspiring location for a high-end barn that houses a furniture makers dream studio. In addition to woodworker’s power tools and materials, this barn features sound and recording studios and a three-bay garage. The goal was to blend the new structure with the meadow, which is surrounded by redwoods. Robert and Maben Rainwater, partners in Mission Hills Development, and the owner agreed on an exterior of re-sawn California redwood boards finished with rough-sawn battens, mirroring the naturally weathered sixty-year-old board and batten siding of the main house. Other structural details, such as the mostly ornamental roof stays, and the fascia, were also constructed from rough-sawn California redwood lumber.
The resulting 2,000 square foot workshop/studio at once takes command of the meadow, yet still appears at home in the open space. The north sides of the structure nestle into the redwood and bay laurel trees, allowing good south sun exposure for the majority of the day. Clerestory windows help to brighten the twenty-four foot high central bay that houses the main power tools for the owner’s custom furniture design and production work. The north wing is divided into lumber storage, playing studio and recording equipment room. The south wing was developed into a three car garage with painted auto and motorcycle logos gracing the interior wall.
Founded in 1916, the California Redwood Association (CRA) is one of the oldest trade associations in the lumber industry. From the very beginning, the association’s primary mission has been to promote redwood products and educate builders and consumers on the advantages of using redwood. Today, CRA continues to be recognized as the independent authority on redwood. To carry out its mission, CRA focuses on product promotion, technical services and lumber grading services.
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