Architects are able to create absolutely amazing things. From piecing together half a dozen walls, architects are able to develop the most beautiful and authentic houses, and things like sheds can be transformed into luxurious spaces. Do you not think it's possible? Well, we are about to prove you wrong. What we are about to show you today is an example of just that – an old barn that was converted into an interesting home. It's amazing how a set of delicate changes can completely change an area!
The team responsible for the project has already been recognized for their superb architectural design. In 2005, Atelier Data Ltd was founded by architects Philip Rodrigues Inês Vicente and Marta Frazão. The project we are looking at today is located in Portugal. Come with us and see how this team surpassed a challenge imposed by its unusual preexistence.
This home is located in Alcacer do Sal, Alentejo – a historical, geographical, and cultural region of Portugal. Next to the Sado river, the city has established itself thanks to its natural interest, resulting in extensive areas of salt production. It is also responsible for much of the economic development of the region.
The land this project sits upon is enormous, about fourteen hectares, as it was previously used for agricultural purposes. Originally a building used to house horses, we can see now this barn has been given a new image. Only minor changes occurred in the project, though, and the original structure of the barn was preserved as much as possible. One great change was the addition of large windows on the ground floor. These giant transparent surfaces allow the sun to flow inside, illuminating the interior. In addition, the facade was painted a stunning white, making it look even better in the sun.
Before the conversion started, the existing building was composed of the main house and the stables that housed the horses. The barn was in a real state of desperation, with raw beams of timber exposed, chipped paint, faulty wiring, and cobwebs as far as the eye could see. The challenge the architects faced was to turn these stables in a vacation home for a family, integrating all of the inherent divisions of a housing project. Needless to say, the architects succeeded in ways no one could have expected. Atelier Data Ltd played with the long, rectangular structure of the building, creating a unique, narrow interior. The exterior remains quite simple in its appearance, but nevertheless striking with its black and white colour contrast and modern door frame design.
The work of the Atelier Data Ltd sought to take advantage of the building's original structure, adapting it to the new housing program. This project was developed using the following key ideas: Keep the central and linear path that runs through the area, converting the cells of horses into five similar divisions; the integration of bathrooms, fireplaces, and storage in the large walls that divide the spaces; and the recovery of traditional building techniques and materials, reinterpreting them according to this specific area.
From this image, we can see the intact traditional barn ceiling. The beams criss-cross in the classic fashion, but the fresh coat of white paint gives this old barn a modern spin. The white helps you to appreciate the unique architecture of the building, making the home feel light and open.
Here's a closer look at the striking white interior. Something that we notice immediately is the polished concrete flooring in contrast with the solid white of the walls and ceiling. White was used as the interior colour because the architects wanted each division of the home to be visible, which is made possible by the way light reflects off of white and the way shadows are cast upon it.
The corridor that runs through the building can be closed off by wooden doors that guarantee greater intimacy in each division. Further down in the home, the living and lounge area is a space that’s perfect for gatherings. Soft sofas occupy the space, creating a warm and comprehensive atmosphere. Minimally furnished like the rest of the home, the lounge area is a special room, as it introduces colour to the home with accent pillows.
The dining room is without doubt one of our favorite rooms in the entire home. The space, clad in bright colour, is complemented by the introduction of very simple lines in the furniture, as well as in the ceiling components. The incorporation of a limited number of features ensures a greater lightness to the spaces, making it extremely calming to be in.
A light timber table takes up the central space of the dining room and is paired with classy white leather chairs. At the right side of the room, we see cabinets with seamless doors that stretch from the floor to the ceiling. These types of cabinets are the embodiment of the minimalist interior design scheme. With plenty of subtle storage space, this dining area will remain clutter and distraction free.
There are four bedrooms in the home, and they were all decorated by artist João Moura. Simplicity is perhaps the word that best defines these rooms. The light white tones give full precedence to the natural light that floods each space, guaranteeing a unique atmosphere. The stripped and clear elements that were integrated translates into unexpected sophistication, bringing a sense of tranquility for anyone spending the night. The drapes hanging over the bed add an extra sense of luxury to the room and create a peaceful canopy. The unique geometric shape of the bed platform mirrors that of the rest of the home, even the exterior. It also provides handy storage options. On a complementary note, the aqua blue throw at the foot of the bed mirrors the accent pillows found in the lounge area.