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Before and After: A Renovated Barn by Berlin Star Thomas Kröger

by LiveModern Webmaster last modified May 06, 2015 01:03 AM
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by Margot Guralnick last modified May 04, 2015

In the German village of Uckermark, architect Thomas Kröger and team at TKA recently converted a 140-year-old brick-and-timber barn into a family vacation house with a separate guest apartment. "In its time, it was an ultramodern building," says Kröger, a Berlin star who got this start working for Norman Foster and Max Dudler. Now, the structure is ultramodern once again—while remaining true to its past. Photography by Thomas Heimann via Yatzer , unless otherwise noted. Above: The 1900 farm building known as Landhaus was once used to house two settler families as well as their cattle. The converted interior is still defined by a series of original beams and trusses. Above: The barn hadn't been used for decades when the owners, a young family, bought it as a country escape. Its three new archways (with slatted-wood gates) open the house to fields, orchard, and garden. Photograph by Thomas Heimann via Home World Design . Above: Kröger describes his design as applying "the preexisting language of the house and adapting it using its own means and rules."  Above: The house is centered by a double-height great hall with a fireplace (a necessity because the room is unheated). Note the inset sitting niches in the hearth. Above: The brick-paved great hall is cathedral-size in scope with two stories of rooms around it. Explains Kröger: "The space is designed so that the great hall is unheated and surrounded by an enclosed and heated body of rooms. So for the cold season, only the smaller and more sociable areas of the house can be used, like birds' nests." Above: Platform stairs lead to the slightly elevated open kitchen-dining-living area. Above: The dining table is crowned by a wood-slatted pyramid that extends to the upstairs floor, which has three bedrooms, two baths, two studies, and a loggia. Above: The minimalist kitchen is freestanding and defined by a sculptural angled ceiling hood. Above: A cross section shows the dramatic pyramid that divides the upstairs floor. Plan via Metalocus . Above: A longitudinal section of the design. Plan via Metalocus .   Above: The main room opens to a lounge furnished with mattress-inspired seating. Above: Glass partitions offer sweeping interior views. "The entire building was upgraded and a considered approach to energy was made," explains Kröger. "The walls of the heated rooms are insulated on the inside with a wall heating and clay plaster."   Above: The barn's apartment is in a connecting structure with its own entrance. It has a living area and kitchen on the ground floor and two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor.    Above: The bathroom's honeycomb floor tiles extend up the walls.  Above: Though contemporary in spirit, the room incorporates the wooden trusses. Above: Changes to the barn on the street side are "barely readable," says Kröger. Above: Uckermark, just an hour north of Berlin, is a popular rural retreat.  Before Above: The back of the structure, pre-renovation.  Above: Arched openings were introduced to connect indoors and out.   Above: The interior as it looked at the start of construction. See more of Thomas Kröger Architekt's work at TKA . Take a look at some more farm conversions we've been admiring: The New Connecticut Farm, Sustainable Edition An Upstate New York Barn Transformed for Energy-Efficient Modern Living  For Rent: A Revived 16th-Century Farmhouse in Puglia, Italy An Idyllic Farmhouse Retreat in Vermont More Stories from Remodelista The Architect Is In: A Brooklyn Brownstone Transformed, with Respect A Bespoke Parlor and Kitchen in Boerum Hill The Architect Is In: Daniel Piechota Talks Kitchen Overhaul






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