Amidst 80 acres in the beautiful Martha’s Vineyard countryside is a distinctive Hutker Architects home that blends modern design with vintage materials.
The owner and architects developed a concept in which they’d incorporate antique timber beams into a new building design. Unlike new wood or steel beams, historic reclaimed timber can vary widely in dimension, length, grain orientation, deterioration, physical defect, and species. Steve and his team’s challenge was to design a building structure in which each component piece of timber came with different structural properties.
The contractor sourced 120 pieces of timber from eight different states. Steve and his team inspected each timber to map defects and then extracted samples to determine the species of wood. Working with a timber grading consultant, they used this information to determine the individual st
ructural design values for each piece of timber.
Throughout construction, Steve’s team worked with Hutker Architects and the owner to select exposed timbers for each area of the residence. They considered wood dimension, coloration, and facial character. When a selected beam had sufficient capacity for its placement, their work was done. Some beams, however, required additional load capacity, so they worked with the architect, homeowner, and builder to agree on a handful of hidden reinforcing structural measures.