Big Barn Harley-Davidson

Type: Showroom / Service Center
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Size: 45,000 SQ FT
Completion: 2003

Just off I-80 in the heart of America stands one of the largest and most unique Harley-Davidson dealerships in the Midwest. The owner of Zook’s Harley-Davidson, now Big Barn Harley-Davidson, had a vision to provide a customer experience that went beyond that of an average dealer.

To maintain the authentic feel of a Midwestern barn, the Brent Widler-led design team used square head iron lag bolts throughout the structure, and the markings behind the roofing slats replicate the lines from the original cedar shingles. Grain bin panels and corrugated tin on the shed roof above the mezzanine, as well as fatigued tin in the ductwork, carry the rustic feel throughout the barn. For further functionality and genuine motif, the reclaimed silo houses an elevator for customers moving from one level to the next.

Simply known as the “big yellow barn,” this hog barn marries two American emblems. Today, the big yellow barn not only calls visitors to Iowa, it also creates a sense of nostalgia for those simply traveling past it.

Brent Widler – Project Architect for WDW Design