A Flemish barn in the countryside, built in the 1800s, was in desperate need of an update. It sits in a high-traffic area next to an historic farm site, and its crumbling appearance prompted the municipality to look for a way to bring it back to its former glory.
An urban expansion is planned for the area, and part of the reason for the renovation was to strengthen the environment and quality in which the barn sits. The firm Arend Groenewegen Architect was called in to make the changes.
It was decided early on in the planning stages that the barn would be renovated into an office space. The space is segmented into two parts, meant to be used as a flexible office space that can be rented out.
It was important to the parties involved in the project that the re-invented structure be full of light, air and open space. The traditional black wooden slats on the building’s exterior allow in light and plenty of natural ventilation. The traditional thatched roof was completely restored to its historic beauty.
As much of the original structure as possible was left in place, with the floor, ceiling, roof, walls and foundation being entirely redone. A wooden cube occupies part of the ground-floor volume, housing the toilets, pantry, office and ventilation system. Underfloor heating keeps the barn looking sleek as it eliminates the need for radiators.
The project was a huge success in the eyes of local residents. Several open houses and exhibitions have drawn in neighbors who appreciate the renewed beauty of the barn and the positive face it puts on the village.