Rustic Ruins to Modern Residences: 3 Barn Renovations

Aging barns are often left to simply deteriorate, the stone crumbling, weathered wooden siding falling to the ground.  But in their dramatic A-frame silhouettes and wide-open simplicity, some architects see the potential for a transformation into a modern, livable residential space. These three barn renovations rescued or recalled structures that were near complete destruction, preserving their history while giving them a greater purpose.

Wood-Slatted Barn Home by Kwint Architecten

The simple shape and wide, swinging doors of this stunning modern home are the only signal of what once stood in its place: an aging barn in Eelde, The Netherlands. Dutch architecture practice Kwint Architecten integrated the remains of an existing structure into a new home with a traditional gabled roof. The exterior is covered in wooden slats that provide privacy, shade and air circulation to a transitory space between the outside walls and the home’s interior.

These slatted walls open wide to allow sunlight to stream into the home. The combination of these elements blurs the lines between indoors and out, allowing full appreciation of the tranquil rural setting.

300-Year-Old Barn to Modern Residence by RRA Architects


A stunning 300-year-old stone barn in Hereford, United Kingdom is now a modern home with prefabricated interior spaces, a wooden addition and the integration of large glass windows to bring in more daylight. The Hillcott Barn by RRA Architects boasts an interior made of individual prefab pods which were constructed off-site and simply lowered into place in each room via crane. This method of construction not only saved the owners money, but helps preserve the original stone structure. The roof was also modified to improve ventilation and add more daylighting, and the barn door openings were fitted with large glass windows.

Italian Alps Barn Becomes Solar-Powered Retreat by EXiT Architetti Associati

In the Italian Alps, a rustic barn that is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site was carefully altered by EXiT Architetti Associati to transform it into a home while maintaining the historic integrity of the structure. Each beam and board of the barn was taken apart, cleaned and reassembled around a new metal frame, and solar panels were integrated into the roof. While the exterior looks much the same as it did before the renovation, the interior has been opened up with an airy modern floor plan and the addition of painted white walls and black steel beams.