Prairie Home Companions: A Trio of Beautiful Barns in Minnesota

Christine Albertsson, partner at Albertsson Hansen Architecture, faced a challenge: to create a storage solution for a client’s tractor and its many attachments. (Maintaining an enormous plot of land in the backwoods of Minnesota requires a different piece of equipment for each season: winter calls for snow blowers, and tractor canopies are used in summer.)

The client asked for one big building. But the design team recognized that dividing the buildings would be a better way to organize equipment that sees seasonal use. The outcome is three hardworking barns that are designed beautifully. Let’s take a look:

Photography by Peter Bastianelli-Kerze.

Above: The three barns surround a courtyard; each structure serves a different purpose. One barn holds tractor attachments and snowmobiles, another houses tractors and an attic, and the third is used as a garage and workshop.

Above: To equip the barns for Minnesota winters, Albertsson armed the standing seam steel roofs with snow guards. The design team searched for months to find the perfect gray paint for the cedar siding.

Above: Granite pavers were laid on the ground to prevent weeds from growing up against the building.

Above: Each foundation is local Minnesota limestone and the chimney stacks are clad and galvanized steel.

Above: Polished concrete and cedar make up the interior.

Above: A work bench and sink in the garage.

Above: The design team measured every piece of machinery to “ensure that the barns were completely functional.”

Above: The three barns sit in the middle of a vast meadow.

For more of our favorite barns and outbuildings, see:

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