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homify 360°: Renovation of a house in the snow

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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With homify 360°, we have travelled to many exotic places in the world—be it the rainforests of Brazil, or Japanese coastal villages. Today, we are heading back inland, to the territory of the Midi-Pyrénées region in France. This area, which is characterised by rolling hills and a luscious green landscape, is nestled between small traditional villages known for church steeples and century-old stone farm houses.

In the following series of images, you will see a hyper-realistic series of photos, which visualise how one of these aforementioned stone farm houses can be transformed into a contemporary residence. Luxurious and comfortable, this home creates a stunning contrast in architectural styles. Take a look..

Addition & subtraction

As you can see, the original volume of the farmhouse was a rectangular prism, two stories high and topped by a slightly pitched gable roof. At the rear, a small extension clings to the ground floor, creating a bold contrast between the existing façade. The architects chose to open the building up as much as possible, illuminating interior spaces through a large glass wall. The new wing has a very contemporary character, with its flat roof and sleek, minimalist appearance. This addition frames the beautiful outdoor terrace, revitalising the overall volume of the house and of course, the relationship between inside and outside spaces.

Material finishes

Instead of trying to hide the new section of the house, the designers chose to show a clear definition between the old and new. By choosing very few material finishes and textures, a dynamic contrast has been created against the original building. Despite this, the rough concrete of the new extension contains the same mineral qualities of the field stone used on the exterior façades of the farm house, but in a bold, minimalist style. The glass walls, which are smooth, light and bright, create a valuable and sophisticated atmosphere, one of which are totally at odds with the rural landscape.  Finally, the retaining wall in the background, was coated with planks of light wood, warming the general composition of the building, and uniting in a harmonious way, the rustic character of the project and the contemporary spirit of transformation.

Spatial organisation

The new extension houses a private room, isolated from the rest of the house by an illuminated corridor with skylight. The kitchen space is installed in the area between the new wing and the original house, acting much like the heart of the residence. The living and dining spaces inhabit the open plan ground floor area of the house, while more private rooms are located upstairs. In short, the house has simple, fluid organisation, offering a variety of spaces in an enjoyable modern spirit. 

Internal spaces

From this view, the inner perspective can be appreciated. The impact of the large glass wall shows how beautifully the light is diffused within the space. Here, the contrast between the traditional and modern forms become stronger, with the large glass wall opposing the brick structure on the right. In the centre of the living areas, a black beam creates a dramatic sculptural gesture, which supports a delicate suspended staircase. Pre-cast concrete panel flooring has a mineral appearance, finishing off the ultra modern feel of the home.

Ultimately, this is an intriguing project that opposes the candour of minimalist contemporary architecture with a rustic and warm farmhouse. If you are interested in these transformations, check out the following ideabooks:

Modern renovation of an East London home

Transformation of a 1930s family home

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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