A Barn Saved from the History Books

Luke Riley Luke Riley
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This project, brought to you direct from the United States, is a wonderful story of history being saved. Following a catastrophic fire, architects from Specht Architects were commissioned to reconstruct a historic hay barn that had been partially destroyed. As a part of the reconstruction effort, the firm needed to re-think the interior

The barn was to be designed as a weekend retreat for a couple and their two Labrador retrievers. The couple were actively engaged in the arts, with one being a Broadway producer and the other a fashion editor, so it was important for the re-worked interior to reflect their personalities and passions for all things creative. 

Let's go check out the brilliant work…

Restoring history

Pictured is the reconstructed barn and grain silo following months of work. Everything looks to be completely perfect with no signs that there was ever a fire or damage. 

These buildings represents the living history of this traditional farming region and is a wonderful thing to see them standing proudly again. Interestingly, the main barn was once part of several buildings that formed as a working dairy farm. 

From this perspective we can see how the architects have restored the exterior volumes to remain contextual with the other farm buildings on the site. It all appears so timeless with the classic architecture reminding us of a bygone era. 

An exciting future

Behind the scenes,  the design team have radically restructured the interior of the barn. The major works included the removal of the entire second floor to create a massive free volume. What was formerly the lower level of the barn, used exclusively for storage, is now the main social space of the house.

Interiors remain light and airy thanks to a mute scheme and the soft look of the maple plywood. Day and night, the light and shadows of the farm can filter through the large windows of the barn to help create a memorable setting inside.

Boasting a contemporary style

The social and private areas are connected spatially through the use of durable yet elegant materials. Clear acrylic dining chairs bring a genuine contemporary edge to the dining area, contrasting in an interesting way against the darkly stained timber table. Hanging all the way from the timber beams above is a cool light shade that sets the mood come meal time. 

In terms of plan, the ground floor includes a kitchen, breakfast room, dining/living room, private office, separate guest suite and an integral seed-starting garden room. The upper floor includes the master bedroom, master bathroom, library, private office, wardrobes and access to the garden and pool at the north end of the site.

Time for sleep

The simple neutral scheme and soft details found in the master bedroom strikes a chord with us at homify. We love how the modern shades of soft cream and pale grey respond to the sunlight that floods into the space. 

Instead of the polished concrete we saw on the ground floor, the flooring upstairs is a beautiful hardwood timber that brings both beauty and a natural feeling. 

Like being at a spa

The last room we're able to see inside of is the central bathroom. The oversized bath,  which sits in the centre of the room, provides a focal point within the space. The tub was smartly positioned facing the windows to give those soaking a view of the farm while they relax. 

The pebbled style flooring gives the room a European spa like appearance and matches well with the stone tiles that clad the walls and tub exterior. 

For more inspiration, check out this Porto home that was restored following a fire: The Historical River House.

What was it about this project that struck a cord with you? Did you have a favourite room? We'd love to hear in the comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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