Don’t be fooled by the crumbling stone walls—behind these historic ruins lie beautiful modern homes. This architectural trend of juxtaposing old with new, historic with contemporary, is one of our favorites at Inhabitat. To celebrate this growing trend of adaptive reuse, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite contemporary homes that rise from the ruins. Read on to see them all!
Latvian architects NRJA completed the House of Ruins, an award-winning contemporary home built inside the ruins of a 19th century Latvian stone barn. In addition to the beautiful contrast they provide, the stone and brick walls serve as privacy screens and protective barriers against the Baltic Sea winds. The modern eco-friendly house uses solar passive thermal walls, energy-efficient appliances, and energy-saving lighting fixtures.
E-C House is a beautiful concrete home strategically placed between the crumbling rock walls of a former building. The light-toned concrete and the home’s modern aesthetic provide a strong contrast with the dark-colored ruins. Designed by SAMI Arquitectos, the home serves as a holiday island retreat in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Scottish ruins bookend the White House, a modern and environmentally sensitive house designed by WT Architecture. The house integrates passive design principles to minimize energy demands. The architects selected local materials for construction and topped the home with a lush green roof.
The Scottish landscape is dotted with the remains of former mills. Edinburgh studio WT Architecture brought new life to one of those threshing mills by inserting a contemporary dwelling inside the farm building’s crumbling stone facade. In contrast to the exterior, which was repaired with lime mortar, the interior is clad in pale timber.
Swiss studio Buchner Bründler Architekten hides a minimalist and contemporary summer home inside this 200-year-old wood and granite building. The architects gutted the House in Linescio, preserving the old facade and inserting a concrete shell that was poured layer by layer through the open roof.
The ruins of a centuries-old stone home serve as the frame for Casa Cabrela, a modern residence in Sintra, Portugal. Organica Architects designed the two-story home and preserved the old stone doorways, walls, and windows. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the interior with natural light while framing views of the old stone walls.
Bergmeisterwolf Architekten transformed a crumbling Italian farmstead into a modern green-roofed home. Blending the old and the new allowed the architects to respect the integrity of the original architecture as well as the natural landscape. The architects reassembled the historic stone wall, making it the focal point of the design.