This project takes place in southern Brittany, France. It’s a 20-meter-long traditional farmhouse located on the heights of Paluden, in the Gulf of Morbihan. Apart from the lean-tos, this old farmhouse had remained in its original configuration. On one side, the only heated space, a mere bedroom and living room, where two east-facing windows let natural light in. On the other side, a stable with its feeders. This part was used as storage. Under the timber framing, the attic floor threatned to collapse after the cover was ripped off by a storm in the 90’s.
Several windows were added to the roof since its renovation. The hayloft windows remained closed. The clients wanted to add comfort to their everyday by assuring continuity between heated spaces, an increase in natural light, and showcasing the generous volumes that could offer the timber frame.
The main challenge of this project was financial, considering the size and condition the building was in. A powerful restraint that helped generate with equal force a proposal both radical and lightweight.
We guided the clients forward, through a pragmatic, rational and adaptive approach. The building was first entirely cured so only the healthy elements of the body would be kept.
The project was then drawn around the existing natural light inputs so that we wouldn’t need to create structural openings in the façades. We took full advantage of the living room’s double height to bring additional light in from its upper part.
Full height now gives the shear wall and its stone fireplace their prestige back, turning them into a scenic background for the living space.
A newly poured and polished reinforced concrete slab fondly echoes the floor of the old barn, but most importantly ensures the link between all the different spaces with its continuous surface, while bringing thermal inertia to the entire atmosphere.
In the second part, that slab supports a wooden structure that breaks up the space into smaller volumes, each containing programmatic elements such as bedrooms, a bathroom and a staircase. This lightweight and playful construction system has been designed to leave room for additional parts if needed.