When the owners of a 17th-century farmhouse wanted to add a new multipurpose building to their property in the rural Spanish municipality La Vall d'en Bas, architect Arnau Vergés responded with a design for a spacious extension that wouldn’t detract from the bucolic environment. Clad in concrete and timber slats, the simple structure is built into the slope and retains existing architectural elements such as the footprint of a former well. An accessible green roof that’s connected to the farmhouse’s stone gable by a black metal bridge tops the outbuilding.
The multipurpose outbuilding serves as a warehouse and workshop with space for changing rooms, a new biomass boiler, and farm machinery. Located between the farmhouse and farmland, the green-roofed building is in the “transition strip” between architecture and landscape, and takes on qualities of both. “By analysing the structures that are to be found around the country house, some still standing and others already blurred, we laid out an intervention in the farmland based on demolishing, strengthening, and building new parts,” writes Vergés.
Timber shutters clad the front of the building and open upwards like a garage door. The interior is mostly finished in concrete, but is punctuated by timber accents, a brick paving lines, as well as a circular atrium that was created on the footprint of the former well. A tree grows in the atrium from the lower level and the upper branches poke up above the green roof.