Slovenia’s traditional rural buildings, once symbols of productivity, now dot the countryside as decrepit eyesores. While many such farmhouses and barns have been bulldozed and replaced with generic housing, OFIS Architects takes a more sustainable approach with their Alpine Barn Apartment, a loft apartment transformed from an old barn. This beautiful example of adaptive reuse was created to ensure the survival of the Slovene vernacular architecture and pay homage to traditional rural lifestyles.
OFIS Architects gutted the old barn, keeping the original facade intact while replacing the interior with a new contemporary shell. The only major changes to the facade were the addition of circular perforations behind the internal windows and the opening of the front porch that had once been an external storage area. The barn’s ground floor was originally used as a stable for stock and the upper levels were used for drying and storing hay and farm equipment.
In contrast to the exterior’s dark and aged wooden cladding and traditional concrete roof slates, the interior is brighter and contemporary in style. All of the walls, floors, and furniture were constructed from deep-brushed local spruce.
The ramped entrance opens up to the living room and dining room, with the main bedroom located in the rear of the house. A wall divides the open plan living room, dining room, and bedroom from a series of auxiliary spaces that include two wardrobes, bathroom, sauna, kitchen, fireplace, and a staircase that leads up to the lofted guest bedroom.