FRAR Transforms A Dilapidated French House And Barn Into A Holiday Home

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Walls created from a standard combination of stone and hemp-primarily based plaster contrast with concrete, steel and glass specifics at this renovated property in the French village of Douvaine .

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects Photograph by FRAR

The home is situated close to the shores of Lac Léman on the French-Swiss border.

It had fallen into a state of close to wreck ahead of being purchased by a family members, who then asked Swiss architecture workplace FRAR to transform it into a holiday residence.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects Photograph by FRAR

The creating initially comprised a home on the finish of a terrace with a barn connected at one side.

FRAR connected the two structures and reconfigured the strategies, creating linked but independent units for the owners and their two teenage kids.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

Despite the building’s poor top quality building, the local council insisted that it need to be preserved in its authentic issue as much as attainable. The only permitted alterations had been the addition of windows in the barn’s south facade.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

A roughcast plaster was applied to the facades to match the other homes on the street, and reliable-oak shutters had been extra to the windows to supply a warm and contemporary complement to the textured exterior surfaces.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

Due to the lack of structural integrity in the unique stone and earth walls, concrete was utilised to cast new foundations and floors.


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A concrete core was also inserted, providing lateral stability whilst creating new bathrooms on both floors.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

The building’s existing prepare featured three rooms in the main property and yet another in the barn – all with similar dimensions.

The exact same is the case in the new layout, even though corridors have been reorganised to meet the demands of the recent occupants.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

“For us, the essential characteristic of the outdated home was its typological simplicity,” explained architect Kaveh Rezakhanlou, who founded the studio in 2001 with colleague Eric Frei.

“The undertaking celebrates this by creating a house composed of comparable sized rooms but connecting them in a different way, horizontally and vertically,” he advised Dezeen.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

All through the interior, renovations emphasis on retaining the character of the original spaces and resources.

The walls – which current a mixture of stone and hemp-primarily based plaster – have been left exposed in every single area, and a minimal strategy to furnishings allows them to turn into a prominent characteristic.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

“We in no way meant to plaster the total factor within like some newly created apartments, although the temptation was there due to the fact the stone walls were so poorly built,” said Rezakhanlou.

“It was about restoration and refurbishment,” he extra. “The previous and new grow to be complementary and you appreciate a single simply because of the other.”

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

The building’s ground floor now accommodates the main apartment, with its kitchen, double-height reception spot, living space and a guest bedroom.

A concrete stair with a glass and steel balustrade ascends to the mezzanine level housing the master bedroom. The mezzanine also supplies access to the other two self-contained residing units.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects

Stairs lead from a kitchen on one side of the mezzanine to the daughter’s apartment in the loft space. Its ceiling is lined with sheet metal and punctured by skylights.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects Photograph by FRAR

The son’s apartment is housed in the previous barn, and is accessed using a staircase up coming to the building’s rear entrance. It is split in excess of two levels, with a living space on the 1st floor and a bedroom above.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects Photograph by FRAR

Rezakhanlou summarised the building’s transformation as simple rather than modern. “The home in Douvaine is not so significantly a 21st-century house, technologically speaking, it is a easy village property,” he concluded.

Other current European barn conversions featured on Dezeen include a 17th-century framework converted into a printmaker’s studio and a run-down old cattle shed turned into an Alpine holiday cabin.

Photography is by Romain Blanchi, unless of course otherwise stated.

Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou ArchitectsWebsite program Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou ArchitectsGround floor program Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou Architects1st floor program Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou ArchitectsSecond floor strategy Maison à Douvaine by Frei Rezakhanlou ArchitectsSection Dezeen

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