If you love barn house conversions, you will want to check out this project by Northworks Architects. What started as a decrepit barn dating back to the 19th century is now a stunning rustic second home with modern influences situated on a 60-acre farm near Niles, Michigan.
Northworks Architects: A Firm that Bridges Past and Future
What made Northworks Architects the perfect firm to handle this conversion is the barn renovation architect’s focus on uniting the past and the future.
On its website, the firm says, “Working on both residential and commercial projects, we handle site planning, construction management, building conditions analysis, and interior design services, including custom furnishings. With an in-depth consideration of environmental context and ingenuity for bridging the old with the new, we are re-imagining America’s structural character.”
A Rustic Farmhouse Infused With Modern Elements
Let’s check out some of the details of the barn house project in Michigan. To achieve the project goals, Northworks brought a barn restoration consultant onboard, and collaborated with a local contractor. The firm explains, “The resulting design is intended to preserve the character of the original barn while taking advantage of its spacious interior volumes and natural materials.”
The exterior of the Michigan Barn & Stone House has a classic barn look—but you would never guess on sight that the structure is 200 years old. Architect Austin DePree said, “We strived for minimal impact to the original geometry of the building.” Some elements, such as the frame and roof, were in good shape. But the siding and foundation are both new.
Massive glass windows on either side of the barn convey a distinctively modern vibe while also allowing natural light to pour through the open layout. For privacy or protection from the elements, shutters can be drawn across them. There is an intact silo up against one side of the house, giving it the ultimate rural look.
The interior of the barn house is where its rustic charm really shines, however. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all stunning wood, and the airiness of the main living area really redefines what “spacious” means.
But despite the overall rustic ambiance, there are plenty of modern touches that ensure that this barn house does not feel like a relic of the past. DePree explained, “We wanted to introduce new modern details to contrast with the historical nature of the barn.” Large, eye-catching works of art grace the walls.
Entertaining in this home would be easy, since the long table at the center of the great room provides plenty of seating. Additional seating in the form of bar stools is available at the restaurant-style kitchen, which is overhung by the loft space above. A sign hanging from the loft says “WHOLESALE” for a touch of added character.
With the Michigan Barn & Stone House, Northworks Architects really defined what is possible when you bring together creative contrasts. The new accents the old, and the old accents the new. It is truly one of the most beautiful and unique Michigan barns we have seen. It is hard to believe it is just a weekend getaway—this is a home we would want to enjoy full-time.
Architects: NorthWorks Austin DePree - Photography: James Yochum
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