Adaptive Reuse projects are some of our favorites because their history offers so much inspiration to draw from. The project we are highlighting this week is one we feel honored to be a part of because it pulls together family, architectural and regional history.
Our setting is the Pennsylvania Dutch region, and the property has been with the family for generations.
On an expansive and rolling parcel of land our clients are realizing their dream of converting a barn built in 1852 by ancestors into a residence for their growing family.
The barn is currently split in half with a two unit rental property in one half and storage on the other. The goal will be to restore and enhance the original elements comprised of the massive stone walls at either end and the timber frame construction inside. The lower level will be excavated to gain comfortable head height and to reinforce and reset some of the more precarious structural conditions.
From there we will add a new envelope on the lengthwise sides as well as a new attached garage structure with a deck above that looks out over the landscape.
The exciting challenge is to create a space that highlights the volume and height of the space as well as the materials but also achieves a sense of scale and intimacy in keeping with its residential program.
A new dining space will push out from the front facade and be covered by a partial extension of the roof plane. This provides a lower more intimate dining room and breaks up the mass of the building and roof on the exterior. A new attached garage will extend to the south and create a partial courtyard condition at the entry. A glass facade on the southern face will balance the heavy existing construction and take advantage of the southern exposure.
Our approach to organizing such a large and open interior space was to create a recessed and compressed entry in the lower ground level that would open via stair to a grand living, kitchen, dining space on the first floor. The north stone wall will remain entirely visible and intact from the interior. The existing timber construction will outline bays that give scale to individual seating and dining areas.
All of the architectural moves in this project will create opportunities for the original construction details to be preserved and highlighted, creating a contemporary home that is rich in value and history.
We will keep you posted as this project moves foward!
Adaptive Reuse projects are worth the effort because in almost all cases you start with a structure that has materials and construction techniques that would be prohibitively expensive to achieve in today's market, if you could even find craftsmen who knew how to do it .