BIG HAY BARN

Hay Barn, Batalha

These hay barns used to populate the Centre West area of Portugal. Literally called “Big Hay Barns” - palheirões – they are like proto greek temples in their configuration and formal simplicity, derived almost solely from funcion. Besides the side piers and the timber roof structure, they harbour grid-like wooden structures which are used to keep the straw bales bound together. The open construction allowed for both ventilation and protection from the rain.
The proportions are also simple and logical: roof pitch is close to a golden section ratio, and the piers are as tall as the roof. On the sides, the space between the piers is as wide as it is tall (minus the overhang of the roof).
Now that no one stacks hay anymore, they are mostly used as tool sheds, garages, stables or poultries, etc, and most times the walls are filled in – this example is one of the rare few who kept its purity of form.

archived in EXTERIORS BatalhaTraditional construction techniquesVernacularWarehouses & Sheds
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