Poznań-based design studio mode:lina recently transformed a decrepit old barn into the Ślonsko Chałpa (Silesian House), a light-filled home that beautifully combines elements of the agricultural vernacular with contemporary design. While the barn’s gabled form and concrete structure were mostly preserved, the architects improved the livability of the building by shortening its length and raising the roof to create a second floor for the bedrooms. The barn’s existing brick, steel and concrete details have been deliberately left exposed and celebrated in the redesign.
Inspired by the austere appearances of the old State Collective Farm buildings, the architects took a minimalist design approach to the Silesian House. In addition to truncating the length of the original building, the existing roof and exterior walls were simplified to create a pure gabled shape with no overhangs. New timber cladding was installed to the exterior envelope that was then punctuated with large irregular openings to let in as much daylight to the interior as possible.
Key to the renovation was the addition of a new double-height extension that houses the living room and dining area. “The original structure and shape of the barn is clearly visible from the living room, where we have an exact cross-section of the building in the form of a mezzanine,” the architects of the exposed concrete structure explained. A spacious kitchen with black granite countertops and timber cabinetry is located beneath the mezzanine.
The interior is dressed in exposed natural materials throughout, including on the upper floor where brick walls are complemented by timber floors and ceilings and exposed beams and columns. The exposed materials and white walls provide a perfect neutral backdrop for the clients’ extensive art collection. The architects also converted the small building next to the 300-square-meter Silesian House into a guesthouse.
Images by Patryk Lewiński