Historic farmstead properties are a common sight throughout small, rural Ontario. The large acreage lots often contain a combination of built structures and landscape features, including the brick farmhouse, the wood-framed barn, outbuildings, silos and mature trees.
In 2017, ERA was approached by Cambium Farms to think through how their 1873 barn, currently operating as a 250-person event venue, could be upgraded for modern use. To guide design, ERA drew on our understanding of the historic Ontario farmstead typology.
The barn has now been updated with the addition of two new amenity buildings, and the extensive renovation of the basement level, transforming Cambium Farms from a seasonal event space to one with capacity for year-round use.
Taking cues from the existing farm vernacular, both additions are built of board-formed concrete. This allows all new construction to be compatible with the surrounding concrete outbuildings, while referencing the adjacent barn’s vertical exterior siding. Salvaged wood siding, floorboards, and timbers were used in a modern application on the interior, ensure the inside of the building’s new spaces compliments the barn’s exposed interior structure.
Converting the under-utilized basement into an intimate second venue, now named The Byre, allowed the team an opportunity to explore modern structural applications of timber. The use of glulam posts and an NLT (nail-laminated timber) ceiling provided the required structural support while interpreting the historic timber systems. The south addition creates a formal entry, vestibule and cloakroom for The Byre, while the east addition provides much needed amenity space — including washrooms and a catering kitchen.
Structural: Revive Engineering – Matthew Reid and Joel Luis
Mechanical & Electrical: Callidus – Jennifer Stanley, Brendan Light, and Nathan Albion