Converting an old barn into a home is quite a project in itself, but adding a new living space onto that barn can be a very ambitious undertaking. PPA Architects created a stunning modern addition to this barn conversion in Lesponne in the heart of picturesque Hautes-Pyrénées, France.
The barn on the property had already been converted to a gorgeous vacation home with rich wood floors, exposed timber beams, and classic stone walls. The incredible living space needed some extra room, however, for a modern family and their guests to stretch out into.
The extension project added on a new living area that both complements and perfectly offsets the traditional stone architecture of the original barn. With a green roof, glass walls and stacks of wood that act as half-walls, the extension incorporates nature in a superbly sophisticated fashion.
The stone and wood from the barn continue to play a large part in the interior of the newly-extended living space. However, there is also a very modern element enhanced by contemporary furnishings. The enormous glass walls allow residents to look out from the work space or guest bedroom over the truly awe-inspiring surroundings.
But perhaps most interesting of all is the way in which the converted barn’s modern addition is camouflaged into the landscape courtesy of its flowing green roof. The skylight across the top and a chimney poking out are the only signs the home is even there, when viewed from the peak of the hill.
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“The specificity of the extension project is rooted both in the character of its natural setting and that of the existing building, and creates a double bind in terms of both typology and design. The project opposes the powerful architectural presence of the barn against a desire to ‘efface’ the new building and create a ‘topographical feature’ of the utmost discretion. Yet at the same time, its design confronts the barn’s resolute sense of inwardness – protected by thick walls with scarce windows – with a new, more extrovert space, turned outwards towards the panorama of the majestic mountain landscape.”
“As an echo to the tradition for setting mountain shelters against the incline of the hillside, our design explores the idea of partially buried living spaces. This not only enabled us to respect the integrity of the rural site, but also avoid creating a clash between the extension and the existing barn, by greatly reducing the volumetric impact of the new building within the landscape.”