This was an assignment we really enjoyed. On a large plot with an old family house and an adjoining barn, the client wished to design a small, year-round weekend house with two rooms and a kitchen area. A storage for garden tools and a small workshop were also part of the assignment. Although resources were very limited and the assignment was quite difficult, we took up the challenge with enthusiasm. As the house was in a very poor condition and had no historical value, we decided to demolish it and leave only the cellar for preserving food and wine. The barn was in a good state though and we were sorry to get rid of it. A simple and yet original solution then presented itself: We kept the barn, solved the statics of two outer supporting pillars, tore down its north-eastern wall and put in a wooden insulated single-storey building that is absolutely independent of the barn structure. The wooden construction was placed on its own foundations above the barn floor so that both the barn and the new construction could breathe. The height difference between the floor of the original barn and the built-in was compensated
by a wooden terrace, which serves not only as a sitting area but also as the entrance. In addition, it is possible to walk around the entire construction within the barn. The living area has a small entrance space, a bathroom, a bedroom with plenty of storage space and a main sitting area with a kitchenette. The living area has access to the terrace and a garden pond. By situating the weekend house independently of the barn, its construction is protected from the weather. The issue with daylight was solved by adding three roof lights above the bedroom, bathroom and main living area. These also provide beautiful views of the barn, also fitted with roof lights. At the back of the barn, we designed a storage area for gardening equipment and a small workshop. The gallery between the barn and the built-in will provide enough space for firewood, which will comfortably heat the 37-square-metres’ area. We have therefore managed to design a building that can be used throughout the year, has plenty of storage space, a cellar, a garden pond and, last but not least, can be built even with very restricted resources.