la grange (the barn)
The homeowners wanted to turn the old barn on the property of their chalet into a secondary country residence. Additionally, being busy people, they wanted an island of peace far from the hubbub, a self-contained retreat. The goal was to preserve its rustic character without compromising modern comfort. The redesigned space separations followed the existing wooden structure. We avoided vertical elements in order to preserve the eye-line to the view. Because the foundations had to be reworked, every salvageable piece of the original hemlock construction was numbered and carefully stored. Thanks to its various open, semi-open and closed areas, the space provides different degrees of privacy. Its 30-foot ceiling lets the space breathe and invites the natural surroundings inside. The large windows give onto a spectacular view of the Sutton Mountains and a pristine agricultural landscape.
La Firme’s La Grange project exemplifies New Wood Open Architecture through its unique material application and the adaptive spatial organization that it allows for. The project demonstrates the inherent flexibility of the 100-year-old heavy timber barn structure. The solid hemlock columns, beams and rafters have retained their architectural value long after the building's original utilitarian functionality subsides. The traditional joinery between them allowed for the disassembly and reuse of the structure to suit the current dwelling needs of the inhabitants. As a direct result of the repurposed barn structure, the dwelling space is also made responsive to dwelling needs that will continue to change in the future. The partition walls that define the current use of the interior spaces are disentangled from the primary timber structure. This allows for a high degree of flexibility, future-proofing the interior layout within the historic timber structure. La Firme’s La Grange project is an example of New Wood Open Architecture because it highlights the retained value of the traditional timber barn structure and strategically repurposes it to create a flexible dwelling environment.