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Guesthouse and Party Barn

Shipley Architects

Project Name

Guesthouse and Party Barn

Project Status



1,800 sq. feet

Construction Cost



  • General Contractor: Alex Moore
  • Charles Davis Smith

Room or Space


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Project Description

2007 RADA
Outbuilding / Merit

“I'd like to have a party there,” said one juror. The others agreed, saying the simple, yet beautifully detailed, space “really sings.” Dan Shipley, FAIA, kept forms basic because he didn't want the addition to upstage the main house. He says the owners “liked the modesty of their existing house but needed a bigger space for guest bedrooms and a place to entertain.”

The judges also cited the architect's inventive use of materials, which Shipley especially appreciates, he says, because he strove to assemble just the right palette. “We wanted the space open and exposed to the outdoors, but we also needed it closed in for warmth and bug control,” he says.

Hoping to avoid lots of glass because at night “those walls become mirrors,” Shipley sandwiched together two corrugated materials—clear plastic and perforated aluminum—to create a scrim that lets light flow through during the day and turns into a solid wall at sunset. Inside, long-leaf pine boards and local fieldstone contribute a rustic edge to the graceful space. “You have these ordinary parts,” Shipley says, “and you try to put them together in a way that's sophisticated but not too obviously designed.”
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