Post and beam architecture is a style of construction that shows off wooden beams and framing on both the interior or exterior of the home. Post and beam construction may not be the only type of framing a home is built with, but it allows for a more flexible construction and gives a home a one-of-a-kind look.
Post and beam construction relies on vertical posts to hold up horizontal beams, and allows for a sense of visual transparency in the home, as you’re able to see so clearly how a house was constructed. It’s a style that’s quite popular in cabin design and, of course, in Mid Century Modern architecture.
Mid Mod Post and Beam
Mid Mod architects saw the unique, handcrafted look of post and beam construction as the perfect way to make their homes feel a step above the rest. But because the technique wasn’t incredibly difficult, it was a way to create homes (quickly) that weren’t too costly for middle-class buyers.
The Eichler Network says this about noted architect Joseph Eichler’s own use of post-and-beam construction: “The Eichler architects’ design strategy of post-and-beam structure and exposed wood panels was a simple one which nonetheless imbued their mass-produced product with the feel of a high-quality living environment.”
Post and beam construction also allowed for another important Mid Mod feature: walls of glass. The construction technique gave the task of load-bearing the chance to be taken off the walls and instead placed upon reinforced posts, allowing for more flexibility in wall (and window) design.
Post and Beam Pairings
Post and beam architecture shows up most often in West Coast Mid Mod, like Desert Modern and Northwest Regional style. Desert Modern style may take a more subtle approach to post and beam, while Northwest Regional style may emphasize its handcrafted look.
Post and beam construction may also be seen with clerestory windows, as the unique load-bearing capabilities of the technique allow for more creative window placements.
Examples of Post and Beam Homes
There are countless examples of Mid Century post and beam homes— it was certainly a favorite for a reason! But take a peek at a few more of our post and beam favorites, and check out their stories.
Read about another Mid Mod construction favorite, cantilevers, here. And of course, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest for more Atomic Ranch articles and ideas!