Modern Family: A Livestock Barn Transformed
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Leave it to a cool Amsterdam-based urban design firm to take an entirely new approach to agrarian living. SeARCH (an acronym for stedenbouw en architectuur, which translates to urban planning and architecture) was founded in 2002 by Bjarne Mastenbroek and Uda Visser. The design duo has done everything from lookout forest towers to embassies, while focusing on sustainability—they prefer a smart use of resources to give nature space to survive. For the Wolzac Renovation in Zutphen, just north of Arnhem in the Netherlands, the firm demolished the center of a T-form livestock barn and replaced it with an entirely new building. Working with a minimal budget, SeARCH successfully preserved the historical quality of the farmyard while allowing the structure to function as a family residence. Above: The exterior of the new home is simultaneously open and closed; the timber lath contrasts with a glass entry atrium. Above: A look inside the new building, from the center of the farmhouse. Above: The extension is constructed of a series of solid, prefabricated wooden plates. Above: Remnants from the old barn (wooden beams and glimpses of brick) are mixed with new elements (steel and light wood). Above: Living accommodation is designed in the existing farmhouse building. Above: A ladder leads to a lofted bedroom. Above: The kitchen is located between the new extension and the existing building. Above: The reimagined villa features living accommodations, a workroom, a guest room, a conservatory, and a garden store in separate volumes of the building. N.B.: For more rustic accommodations, see 147 Farmhouses in our Gallery of rooms and spaces.