This rustic Alpine Barn in Selva di Cadore, Italy has been renovated into a low-impact retreat set in the dramatic Italian Alps. The barn is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so great strides were made by EXiT architetti associati to maintain the original presence of the structure while making it efficient and durable for future generations. Each board and beam was taken apart, cleaned, repaired and then reassembled around a metal frame. A well-insulated shell and solar-electric panels beautifully set into the roof make the restoration a powerful fusion of historic design and 21st century technology.
Barn conversions are a popular way to create space while maintaining a historic relationship with the site — but few projects go to this length to maintain the structure’s original aesthetic and material integrity. While much of the original wood was preserved, that which could not be cleaned and restored was replaced with treated wood that reflects the same character.
The exterior maintains the original look, but the interior was opened up to a more contemporary floor plan. Material selection was based on a very limited pallet of larch and fir wood, Dolomia stone, steel and plaster to maintain the integrity of the original elements. Small contemporary touches such as modern porcelain basins and black steel elements break up the wood-dominated interior.