A simple, isolated farmhouse was converted into a holiday home. The quarry stone house was in ruinous state, without sanitary facilities. The main objectives of the design were the reconstruction of the torso and the installation of a kitchen and a bathroom. Obviously, a purely functional conversion would not be satisfactory – so the task was to create a result of extreme atmospheres: the nature of the problem was more scenographical than architectural.
The concept proposes the creation of two independent tracts of different characters. Space, light, materials and colouration were to provide the occupants with fundamentally different feelings and choices.
After surveying the remaining structure and removing the damages (roof, ceiling) the old building was reconstructed reusing much of the existing fabric. After intensive research the oak doors, floor boarding, stone slabs and fireplaces were restored in traditional and regional manner. The clay soffit was reinstated by the owners themselves over a longer period of time. The result was supposed to appear original rather than like a museum and to meet the owners’ nostalgic demands.
The closed, historical building was extended with a separate modern part. The extension houses all necessary modern comfort in compact form, compressing the service facilities into just a few elements. The steel framework serves not only as a technical structure but also as a picture plane. This method takes the collage technique of the surrounding agricultural and silo architecture as a point of reference.
The steel structure penetrates the old building and a remaining stone wall thus creating flowing transitions between the inside and the outside and a holiday home that can be used in different ways, depending on the season.
During the summer life can expand into the landscape (meadow and pond) since the steel framework contains also an outdoor shower and WC. The boundaries between inside and outside are dissolved as a result of large areas of glazing. An optional screen was applied instead of a fixed spatial separation of kitchen and bathroom. At night, the flow of the steel structure is revealed by ship’s lamps which highlight the individual functional cells. In contrast to the old part of the building, the materials used in the extension are almost exclusively industrially manufactured articles, such as coarse chipboard, plywood, industrial tarpaulin and perforated sheet metal. The colours symbolize the various functions: kitchen, bathroom etc. All technical services (water, gas) are installed independently.
The objective for the new part of the building was to create authentic architectures with their own identities which permit clear associations and images and satisfy the expectations of distinct holiday atmospheres.
Two spaces, two alternatives - we have the choice to rest or to take another step ahead: à nous de choisir.