2014  |  Funny Girl Farm Produce Barn  |  Chapel Hill, NC

The Produce Barn at Funny Girl Farm in Chapel Hill, NC is a 4,300 square foot barn to be used for the processing and packaging of produce grown on the farm. The barn shelters a large, open work space and equipment storage area, flanked by a linear bar of enclosed utility spaces including produce coolers, rest rooms, offices, employee lounge and a tool shop. The barn can also double as a multi-purpose gathering area for a variety of informal and programmed entertainment events in the off-season. As a working farm structure, the Produce Barn is constructed of durable materials resistant to extremes of temperature, humidity and demanding agrarian use.

The barn’s three enclosing screen walls are constructed of a finely grained cypress lattice hung off the building’s thinly wrought structural steel frame. The lattice acts as a permeable scrim, sheltering the interior of the barn from the summer sun, while still preserving an intimate visual connection to the surrounding farmland. The building’s roof assumes the form of a gracefully shallow hyperbolic parabola, fashioned from a disciplined interplay of sloping steel perimeter girders and glue-laminated wood rafters. The roof-form is functional, inducing natural ventilation and offering end-bay clearance for the farm’s tractors. Nevertheless, it is equally a lyrical gesture, intended to ennoble the work-a-day craft of preparing a crop for market.

The barn’s production furnishings have been designed to be readily broken-down and stored wherever multi-purpose space is needed for the staging of entertainment events or public receptions.

"True to its agrarian function, this open work shed for produce handling investigates texture and form through an economy of means. Within the limits of a clearly defined plan and limited palette of materials, each building element is beautifully articulated to provide an elegant resolution through subtle rhythms, shifts and expansions. The clarity and economy in form and detailing elevates this simple, utilitarian structure to architecture of a high order." -Steve Dumez, FAIA, AIA South Atlantic Region 2016 Jury Chair