Performing a New Production on a Worn Stage

View all 11 Photos

There is a tired adage in architecture that the form of a building must follow its function. But time and again architects have refuted this dogma through the repurposing of structures that have lost their initial program, breathing new life into an old space. A prime example of this can be seen in MW Works Architecture‘s transformation of a turn of the century barn in Washington State into a three-bedroom vacation home for a city saturated couple. The project was approached as both a restoration and an intervention, adding to the barn the amenities necessary for modern life while embracing and enforcing the structure’s stark identity. When taken as a whole, there is an exciting new form that emerges, much more a successful transplant operation than a groaning Frankenstein. Original barn wood was left exposed wherever possible, from the flooring to the stud walls to the looming rafters of the pitched roof, in a fashion that heightens their importance. The roof especially becomes a focal point thanks to new large windowpanes that span the height of one of the facades, inviting spectators to gaze upward at their impressive construction that has stood for over 100 years. Like a well-done piece of archaeology, the new additions are done in a language that is relevant to the context, but immediately distinct, so one can grasp what is original in an instant. These steel and plywood interpolations add livability to the space without sacrificing any of its historic charm, an amalgam of industrious and rustic aesthetic. Projects like this Canyon Barn continue to disprove that old saying by showing that a good building’s form should be constructed to last, and like a sturdy stage it will be a warm incubator for as many programs and functions as future inhabitants can imagine.

Nathaniel Barlam

Nathaniel

Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

Featured Products Explore new arrivals at the Gessato Shop

Take me there

  • Zallinger Refuge

    A thoughtful renovation and expansion of historical buildings in the Alps. Dating back to the…

  • Dá Licença Hotel In Portugal

    One-of-a-kind, this retreat celebrates the heritage and culture of Alentejo. During their travels, Vitor Borges…

  • The Wuyuan Skywells Hotel

    A 300-year-old traditional Chinese building transformed into a high-end hotel. Nestled in the Yan village…

  • Design Destination: Melbourne

    A complete travel guide to Melbourne, your next design destination. The cultural capital of Australia,…

More for you

                array(5) {
  ["post__not_in"]=>
  array(1) {
    [0]=>
    int(151655)
  }
  ["tag__not_in"]=>
  array(2) {
    [0]=>
    int(16203)
    [1]=>
    int(9208)
  }
  ["posts_per_page"]=>
  int(12)
  ["caller_get_posts"]=>
  int(1)
  ["cat"]=>
  int(6178)
}
            
  • Family house in Litvínovice

    A minimalist design that enhances both privacy and outdoor spaces. Located near the city of…

  • Gafarim House

    An exploration of contrasts via contemporary architecture. Designed by Tiago do Vale Arquitectos, this house…

  • A Country House In Chievo, Italy

    A charming house that celebrates a rural setting via thoughtful design. Built in a beautiful…

  • The Lake House

    A serene house that welcomes the waterfront inside living spaces. Designed by Seattle-based architecture firm…

  • Residence J&C

    A semi-permanent home that offers the perfect respite from city living. Built in the small…

  • Caldera House

    A ski retreat that will make your winter more memorable. Nestled in the center of…

  • The Aloha Surf Bar

    A concrete and glass structure that mirrors a sandy coastal landscape. Located in Vila do…

  • House A by Whispering Smith

    A concrete house that complements its minimalist design with a carbon neutral build. Designed by…

  • Lochside House

    An off-grid home that celebrates the beauty of a rugged Scottish landscape. Built in the…

  • Hercule House by 2001 Studio

    A house that resembles an ice monolith emerging from the ground. Located in Mondorf-les-Bains, in…

Close Cart