This is one of the largest clear span timber frame structures in New England.
The completed timber frame at Sonny’s is nothing short of incredible. Spanning 70' wide with a 24' wide compression ring & cupola suspended 35' above the center, this huge timber frame structure is an exceptional feat of design & engineering.
Looking up at the 13,000 pound compression ring and cupola, the compression ring is a daunting 24' in diameter—that’s as wide as a two-car garage. Everywhere you look, the timbers in the octagon form interesting patterns. In the design & engineering phase of the project, we looked at every timber connection as an opportunity to use authentic & complex timber frame joinery, with concealed steel when necessary.
Case in point regarding concealed steel is the outer tension ring. The outer ring of the octagon has to withstand a very high tension force so we custom made metal strapping that is completely hidden in the finished structure.
Step inside the octagon and it takes your breath away. A beautiful, complex tangle of timbers is overhead with evidence of precision design & extensive engineering everywhere you look. The sheer size of the timbers joined together seemingly effortlessly is inspiring and reassuring at the same time. You get the sense that you’re standing in the midst of something special.
Built using traditional wood joinery along with concealed steel reinforcement where required, the largest timbers are 10" x 20" x 26'. In total, the timber frame contains 35,000 board feet of select structural Douglas Fir timber. The timber frame octagon is 4,200 sq. ft. with 18' eave height.
This was a very exciting project for all of us here at Great Country Timber Frames. It was history in the making as we honored the craft of timber framing and incorporated modern structural engineering & design to create a one-of-a-kind, large scale commercial structure—one of the largest clear span timber frame structures in New England. This could have been built using conventional construction and steel but to build it with timber framing for a truly unique look was only a job for the experts at Great Country Timber Frames.
For a project like this, a modern design where heavy timbers span 70 feet, there was zero tolerance for errors in the timber frame joinery. Thus, the CNC machine at Great Country Timber Frames was a must in getting the timbers cut perfectly ahead of time so they formed snug connections when the frame was assembled on site.
Sonny’s Place will be using the octagon to house a 50' antique carousel.
See these blog posts for more information on the project:
- Video: Building a 70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon
- Sonny’s Timber Frame Octagon Complete
- Raising the Cupola, Drone’s Eye View
- Fit Like a Glove
- The Timber Frame Octagon at Sonny’s Place in Somers CT
- Press Release: GCTF is Building a 70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon at Sonny’s Place
- It’s Officially an Octagon
- Starting to Assemble the Timber Frame Octagon
- Cutting the Joinery for Sonny’s Octagon
- Timber Frame Octagon Design
- Sonny’s Slab Pour
- New Project: 70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon