- Clients: Aubenhausen GbR
- Civil Engineering: Thomas Bachmann
- Climate: Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH
- Carpenter: Vinzenz Bachmann Bau GmbH & Co. KG, Schleching
- City: Tuntenhausen
- Country: Germany
Text description provided by the architects. This project is the result of reviving a 1773 barn built of hundreds of timber elements that had been disassembled, stacked, and stored for over 40 years. This painstaking process required tremendous courage and exquisite craftsmanship from the timber framers whom rebuild it.
The barn was originally an agricultural building used for storing equipment. In principle, the interior was a coherent volume of space without subdivisions such as partitions or even floor ceilings. The beautiful timber frame latticework was an open structure with planks attached on the inside. It was openly ventilated and served only as protection against rain, snow, and sun, but not as a thermal envelope. Daylight was originally not needed in the interior resulting in spaces being rather dark and foreboding. The challenge was to convert this beautiful shell into a residence & meeting space without destroying the magic of the historic craftsmanship.
To divide the historically open space, a three-story architectural intervention made of room-sized wooden cubes was delicately placed within the timber structure. The cubes, shifting as they stack on one-another creates the impression of a three-dimensional sculptural that fills the volume of the barns up to its roof. The homogeneous silver fir surface of the cubes contrasts the latticework of the Timber frame complimenting the historic construction with a modern intervention. The two historic characteristic passageways, called “tennen”, that cross the barn are left unobstructed with only light bridges spanning them on the upper levels. The original double barn doors are long lost, but they are replaced with transparent large glass gates. This allows the interior and exterior as a path lead straight out of the ground floor toward a picturesque adjacent lake.
On the interior of the upper level latticework of the barn, glazing was installed to allow transparencey while creating a thermal envelope. As a result, daylight penetrates into the interior while the beautiful historic components can also be experienced from both inside and out. The originally small openings in the ground-floor masonry were replaced by larger openings. These “inaccuracies” reveal themselves as modern alteration having contrasting formats and minimalistic details.
The landscaping if accomplish with natural materials that correspond to the rural context. An elongated outbuilding in front, which houses the technical spaces, storage rooms and carports, frames the entrance area and forms a courtyard with the barn.
Because of an intelligent energy and climate concept, passive measures are used to achieve healthy living and working conditions with minimal energy consumption. Roof overhangs and an integrated external sun protection reduce the solar entry into the building. In summer the building can be ventilated completely naturally. Large roof windows in the threshing floor are used for cooling by effective night ventilation. Gypsum fibre boards integrated in the timber construction serve as thermal mass and lead to pleasant room temperatures even at higher outside temperatures. In winter, the building is adequately supplied with draft-free fresh air via controlled living space ventilation with efficient heat recovery. The heat is brought into the room via low-temperature panel heating under the floorboard. The heat is supplied by a pellet boiler in the adjacent warehouse and also serves as a local heating network for other buildings. By using the renewable raw material wood, CO2 emissions are reduced to a minimum.