As Summer approaches, I have been daydreaming about sunny summer days and the campground in southern Ohio my family used to regularly visit for long weekends, “roughing it” in our pop-up camper. Many American families have summer traditions tied to camping, outdoor activities and quality time with loved ones.
One large, extended Northern California family with a legacy of spending summers at the grandparents’ Point Reyes dairy farm envisioned a magical space for grandkids including tent platforms and a bath house loaded with character. Heidi Richardson of Richardson Architects describes the setting:
“The bath house is designed to blend with the environment of the pastoral dairy farm. This small 260 square foot building embraces a fun, whimsical and practical character that evokes the rural quality of the property. The grandkids sleep in tents and play activities at ‘the camp’.”
“The biggest challenge was getting the proportions of the space just right and to maximize the tiny footprint. Other challenges included getting the scale of the windows and doors correct and choosing appropriate material. We maximized the footprint by adding height, opting for a pitched roof, which also helped maximize the natural light. In order to create a structure that would withstand the elements, we used non-corrosive and wear-resistant materials, including galvanized sheet metal, sealed board and batt siding.”
“We worked closely with the clients to design a structure that complemented the existing farm buildings. Originally, the design called for only a bath house with a small storage shed off the back. However, just before construction started, at the owners’ request, we added a 130 square foot bedroom.”
A bright color palette, shiplap wall treatment and swinging doors all add to the farmhouse ambience of the space. Large windows flood the house with light and provide beautiful views of the surrounding farm.
Aaah, summer – that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends. Darrell Hammond
“The structure is sited amongst a cluster of farm buildings. The goal was to design a building that would provide welcoming and comfortable amenities for the nearby tent platforms/sleeping quarters.”
Squeeze the lemonade, slather on some sunscreen and imagine yourself relaxing at this gorgeous farm. Heidi and the Richardson Architects team have created the perfect summer family gathering space.