As much as we love contemporary design, we have a real soft spot for old barns, whether they are built with brick, timber or stone. And every country seems to have their own style. Barns tell a story about the history of a place and its inhabitants, a story that gradually wears down as time and the elements have their way. Which is why nothing rocks our design-loving minds more than a thoughtful barn renovation that not only saves an existing structure, but makes it new. Here we celebrate 6 of the loveliest renovations we know of, from Belgium and Texas to Washington. Hit the jump for a closer look.
Image via RRA Architects
1. Hillcott Barn, Hereford, UK
This 300-year-old stone barn was originally used for threshing wheat, but the owners wanted to renovate it as an warm and comfortable new home. RRA Architects transformed the barn into an ultra modern abode with some prefabrication work off-site, while observing the many delicate, historic elements of the original design and construction. Ensuring maximum natural ventilation and daylighting were also integral to the design and construction of the adapted home.
Image via Bainbridge Barn
2. Bainbridge Barn, Bainbridge Island, Washington
There’s something so special about a dairy barn, but this dairy barn turned into a stunning eco-home with rustic charm may be even better. Don Frothingham gave the 3-bedroom home new life while preserving many of the features that made the original structure so compelling. Tall cathedral-like ceilings create a sense of expansion while also allowing plenty of natural light to pour into the interior. Well ventilated and designed to absorb passive solar in the chilly winter months, this stunning conversion has phenomenal views.
Image via LO/JO
3. Barndominium, Chapel Hill, Texas
Slightly different than some of the other barn conversions featured here, Barndominium in Chapel Hill Texas isn’t just a home, it’s also an office. Fitted with a slew of sustainable features, such as a rain screen, natural ventilation, passive solar design and even recycled denim insulation, this breathtaking renovation fills up the landscape with stature and dignity. The architects, LO/JO, have really outdone themselves with this project.
Image via BURO II
4. The Barn House, Flanders, Belgium
This barn conversion in Belgium by BURO II rocks our world. Thanks to a concerted effort to maintain the tradition tied up with the original building, the innovative renovation has a regal aura that demands respect. With openings on either end that frame the verdant landscape and copious natural light, the structure retains its intimacy with the land.
Image via Blackburn Architects
5. New River Bank Barn, Leesburg, Virginia
When Blackburn architects first came across the dilapidated New River Bank Barn in Leesburg, they didn’t see the wear and tear of 200 years, they saw a sparkling new home that would go on to receive a host of prizes. Although the team managed to preserve much of the barn’s original structure, they did end up wrapping the entire barn with new Structural Insulation Panels (SIP) and board-and-batten panels. And the new glazed northeast facade with views of the Potomac River gives the home a spectacular, contemporary lift. This is definitely one for the history books.
Image via Shed Architecture and Design
6. Whidbey Island Barn Renovation, Washington State
Then an up-and-coming design firm and now full-fled magicians of the craft, Shed Architecture & Design took an old barn in Whidbey Island, Washington and transformed it into a charming new home and guest house. Prior to taking on the project, the design team lived on site as part of their research process. They reclaimed wood formerly applied to the exterior inside, Old wood from the exterior is reclaimed and reused inside the home, which was carved up to create the main kitchen and living space, a bunk room and an upstairs apartment.
Lead image (modified) via Shutterstock