70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon Interior
Looking straight up at the 24' wide compression ring and cupola
The cupola & compression ring before adding roof decking
Drone shot of raising the timber frame cupola
Designers & project managers meeting about building the 70' structure
Prepping huge timbers in the shop with timber joinery
Detailed & complex timber frame joinery close-up
Exterior of the 70' clear span timber frame octagon
Showing some of the largest timbers (10″ x 20″ x 26′)
Oak pegs are evidence of authentic mortise & tenon joinery
Beautiful tangle of timbers overhead
Detail of timbers in the outer ring under tension
Timber frame joinery everywhere
Heavy timbers & extensive engineering
24' wide compression ring and cupola suspended high above the center
Only the timber frame of the compression ring and cupola
Crane placing the 24' wide cupola on top of the 70' wide timber frame octagon

    70' Clear Span Timber Frame Octagon, Sonny’s Place, Somers, CT

    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: