This project is a case study in an adaptive re-use strategy for the tobacco barns of Southern Maryland. The architectural approach for this project involves inserting a new single family home inside the existing barn.  This preserves the barn and agricultural heritage of the property while creating a new green home.  The property can remain in use as a working farm, operated either by the home owner or through a lease to a local farmer.


Re-Barn’s main gesture is to modify the skin (walls & roof) of the barn to accommodate a new home inside.  Taking a cue from vernacular design of tobacco barns, the skin is modified to include  flaps, shutters and sliding panels in the locations of doors and windows.  When closed, Re-Barn is almost indistinguishable from a typical tobacco barn.  When open, the building takes on the appearance of a contemporary home.  This operability of the building’s skin gives the residents numerous options for solar control, privacy and an ever changing appearance to the home.

A solar array (PV and thermal) as well as rainwater catchment are integrated into the existing roof . The innovative treatment of the building’s skin enables the owner to utilize both historic preservation and  sustainable design tax credits to assist in financing the project.