Beech Architects converted a 125-year-old windmill in Suffolk, England, into a modern guest house for rent. Complete with a metal-clad observation pod on top, the new guesthouse is well insulated and features custom-made furniture that fits its constraining circular layout.
The 60-foot high windmill was built in 1891 and had a role in agricultural production at the time. However, the building had been disused for decades–until Beech Architects restored it. The owners, a surveyor and his wife who live in the house next door, plan to rent out the new guesthouse for extra income.
“The biggest design challenge was the reinstatement of the cap or ‘pod’, which was not intended as a faithful historic reconstruction, but rather as contemporary and innovative interpretation that would also serve as the principal living and viewing platform,” Beech Architects told Dezeen.
The architects added insulation panels to the exterior walls and topped the entire structure with a wooden observation pod. The flexible timber rib system, manufactured by MetsaWood, is covered by 200 panels of zinc. This particular element of the conversion is why some locals complained that the structure doesn’t fit into its surroundings and looks “alien”. Nevertheless, the conversion project has recently received a RIBA award nomination.