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Ancient stone housebarn becomes couple’s tranquil home-office

In the Cantabrian mountains of Northern Spain, the traditional barn houses- used by nomadic farmers who graze their livestock on only grasses- have been abandoned as larger mechanized operations took over the industry. 

Laura Álvarez, who grew up enjoying the raw nature of this region, bought an abandoned stone house barn, a “cabaña pasiega”, and rebuilt it paying homage to its past (passive solar orientation, few windows), but with a modern take. 

To capture the area’s rapidly changing weather and expansive views, Álvarez cut huge panoramic sliding glass doors into each side of the home to capture a view of the mountain and waterfalls, as well as the view of the valley below.

Dubbing the home “Villa Slow”, Laura and her partner Lewis- who created much of the home’s furniture from local wood- spent their two-month quarantine here and fell in love with the slower rhythms of life: chopping wood, cooking outdoors, hiking and watching scenery. They are now trying to figure out a more permanent move to the home where time moves at a different pace.

More on the “cabaña pasiega” traditional housebarn typology.