(hey, type here for great stuff)

access to tools for the beginning of infinity

Turns stone barn into Minimal home with hidden furniture-rooms

Africa Lao had spent her career designing homes from an office in Barcelona, so when she moved to the country to get closer to nature, she was inspired to transform a crumbling 18th century stone hayloft into a small, minimal dream home. Located in the middle of protected forest, the location was an urban refugee’s dream, and she was unperturbed by the requirement to only restore what already existed here, which meant remaining within the original 60 square meter (645 sq. ft.) footprint.

The original barn had two rooms of 30 square meters each so, leaving this unchanged, she dedicated one room for daytime and the other for nighttime. To create a bathroom and closet without affecting the original layout Africa added a simple half wall of oak wood that houses both a bathroom and walk-in closet, and also serves as a headboard for the bed. Since this intervention was on the coldest (north) wall it also helps to insulate the home.

Far from any electric grid, the home relies solely on solar panels, a pellet stove to run a radiant floor heating system and a small wood-burning stove. Water comes from a well so the home is completely independent.

While the 18th century stone walls were still intact, the roof had collapsed so Africa restored it to its original state with terra-cotta tiles and chestnut beams crafted from debarked tree trunks. To restore missing stones from the home’s walls, Africa used rock from local rivers as they would have done 400 years ago. The few new elements in the home – the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom wall and floors- were crafted from the same aged oak wood boards. The shower walls and floor are natural limestone and the sink is stone.

The original arch on the building’s south side was left intact for a window-door that now provides the majority of the home’s daylight. The north side of the home has only two tiny windows perforating the nearly one-meter stone walls so despite below freezing temperatures in the winter, the home stays warm with just heat from the pellet stove.