Life in Ruins: Building a New Home on 250-Year-Old Stone


There is something mysterious and beautiful about a ruin – just as there is something magical and complex about a new livable structure layered on the shattered remains of an old building.

Before this reconstruction project (designed by Mvra Architects), there was sense of something lost – perhaps the foundations of a tiny house or the solid rock foundation of an ancient city. Each stone pillar stood alone in the overgrown green surroundings. After the rebuild, these old pieces still stand apart from the new structure and yet serve to support it. An interior ‘box’ was inserted between them horizontally, while thin metal vertical supports project above them to let the roof seem to ‘float’ above.

Reinforced by concrete, the new structural members actually serve to preserve the remaining historic stones still standing – reinforcing them and providing them with a water-deflecting, shed-roof protective surface. Infill was drawn from the existing spare stone strewn about the site, plugging the gaps and restoring it for long-term stability.

Via ArchDaily: “The single-space concept is based on how our ancestors used to live in this region. All necessities were taken care of in one parlour room; a kitchenette, sitting room and place for sleeping and working. A kitchen, dining room, sitting room with a study and a bedroom with a bathroom are designed in the living space. On the terrace there is a covered space for sitting in the summer and a sunny plank projecting outward.”

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