Content Text / geometrical analysis & design / photographs
Dutch, English and German settlers arriving on the eastern side of America built themselves timber framed houses in the styles of their homelands. In 2009, the American Timber Framers Guild (TFG) asked guild founder, architect and carpenter Jack Sobon and English geometer Laurie Smith to co-run a geometrically designed timber framing project based on the early settler buildings. Jack had researched the Dutch settler homes in Massachusetts for many years and the project followed this tradition. The Dutch settler houses differed structurally from English houses of the same period and were framed with upper floors supported on huge anchorbeams, braced to the side wall posts by massive but elegant corbels.
The project design was based on a simple two-circle 1:12 scale geometry from which divider readings were taken and stepped out along chalk lined timbers to full scale. A team of twenty American carpenters and a lone Australian cut and raised the frame in a week. The Dutch House frame was exhibited at the TFG’s Eastern Conference in Saratoga Springs, auctioned to raise money for the guild and the winning bidder re-erected the frame at his home in Texas.