A Rustic Barn Becomes A Modern Delight

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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It is here in Brittany that we have decided to stop by for a 360° homify tour, which is both unique and different! The town of Locmariaquer is situated at the western tip of the Gulf of Morbihan, with its many idyllic beaches facing the Bay of Quiberon. This small town contains the Locmariaquer megaliths, significant Neolithic remains that include The Grand Menhir of Er Grah, a huge stone structure 20 metres long and broken into four huge pieces.

Marion and Yzabel met at the Ecole nationale supérieure d'architecture de Bretagne, also known as The Brittany National College of Architecture. Passionate and inspired, they decided to embark on a new adventure, and so in 2007, Atelier 742 was born! Little by little they are emerging as a valued and skilled team, and in 2011 became the first to build a passive-house in the Gulf of Morbihan!

Without delay let's begin our guided tour of this exciting project, which was officially launched at the end of last year!

Before: exterior façade

Here in this image we get an overview of the residence before work is set to begin, and of course before the construction of the new timber frame extension.

So what exactly is a longère? A longère is an archetypal Breton property, essentially a farmhouse, generally associated with farmers and artisans. We absolutely adore this charming building for its bucolic and rustic accents!

Before: the long road ahead!

The existing farmhouse has undergone various transformations and changes over the centuries to meet different uses. Following a division of the farmhouse, the renovated section of the original structure became too small to accommodate life for the new occupants. Further work was therefore needed in the form of a stylish addition. 

This overview of the interior gives us a great indication of the scope of works that awaited the architects and designers at Atelier 742!

After: the surprising wood and zinc extension

The new space is outrageous! It features a spacious living room which has been grafted to the existing building, and is comprised of wood and zinc. The vertical panels of coloured zinc siding work well with the smooth bark, which is needed to blend in with the landscape and the bright green lawn. A flooring slab is made of timber, providing an outdoor courtyard. The huge glass door allows natural illumination to enter the premises, and fills the home with light. Note, a sensitive and meticulous effort with the light was a major challenge of this project.

After: terrace and courtyard

The work was simplified by sticking to a step by step method as follows:

1. Windows became transparent doors, without crossbars to ensure that light can pass through unhindered. Sliding shutters also serve as weather-stripping. Mastering the airtightness was also one of the first objectives of the team at Atelier 742.

2. A huge timber tiled terrace offers a welcoming space for sunny days.

3. The back of the extension was coated for protection, while the natural characteristics of zinc provide a sealed, insulated, recyclable, and corrosion resistant option.

After: interior simplicity

As we venture inside we see a simple and unpretentious style, which can be easily seen within the dining area. The large table is big enough for a banquet, and hides a huge bench seat underneath. A central staircase leads to the upper floor, while storage boxes follow the curvature of the stairs. Natural light penetrates the space from a square casement window, injecting energy and life. There is also a full horizontal light fitting with eight heads that illuminates the entire length of the table.

After: the gorgeous new kitchen

This multifunctional centre island summarises in itself the main objective of the project, which is, the optimisation of space. Multiple storage areas compose the whole island: drawers, shelves and also a workspace are included. The grey lacquered joinery hosts household appliances, and reflects light that originates from the constellation of integrated ceiling spotlights.

If you liked that project and would like to see another, check out: A Beach Cottage Reborn.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this farmhouse conversion! Put your comments, below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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