The former barn in Devon transformed into a minimal and very modern house

It was the ruin of a stable from the beginning of the 19th century, isolated in the middle of the flat Devon countrysidepoints to the southwest of England, little more than a stone vestige of a farm building and its glorious rural past.

Photo © Rory Gardiner

It London studio Type he restored it and converted it into one very modern housewith a five-year project that took ecology into account, low-energy building, respect for the context and with a good dose of sensitivity in choice of materialswhich in this case served as a watershed to define the extent of the intervention. “We wanted the gap between what it was to be very clear old and new, preserving the altered beauty of the monumental stone shell and the wild agricultural environment of this small 10-hectare farm ”, explain the architects. The roof pavilion that had been lost has been restored in a modern and distinctive way, covered with sheets of aluminum that mimic the original form.

“To preserve the striking simplicity of the four stone elevations, we avoided additional holes for doors and windows, restoring the dynamic of light-shadow-space to the building as it was originally,” say the Types. The large openings used for the passage of livestock have been kept in their dimensions closed now by easily manageable pivot French doors, set back and with frames reduced to a minimum, allowing maximum light entry.

The subdivision of the interior spaces, a total of 200 sqmit is very clear: by exploiting the numerous arched doorsthe two bedrooms with bathrooms and kitchen are located on the ground floor, while the upper floor is an open living space, also suitable for working.

Type’s strategy followed the logic of a non-invasive insertion: the goal, as they themselves explain, was “to create a new home inside the rebuilt barn rather than transform the building into a house”. The floor plan is punctuated by the internal stone columns, which provide the basis for the floor and roof structures made of domestically sourced Douglas fir wood, while the longitudinally extending roof trusses evoke the rhythm and beauty of traditional rural structures. dictating the height, shape and size of the space that remains open.

The design of the project took place on several scales: from the broadest landscape strategy to the smallest interior layout, to the furnishings, with details and materials that marry traditional construction techniques with contemporary craftsmanship. “The organization, the hierarchy and the history of the building are accurately expressed through the different materials – the stone columns and the walls finished in lime plaster – and the new internal dividing” boxes “covered in light maple that define the environments », the architects describe the interiors completed coherently with an essential Scandinavian style furniture.

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