This barn-like building in Slovenia by Ljubljana office Arhitektura d.o.o. contains spaces used for dispensing honey, processing dried fruit and hosting family festivities (+ slideshow).
The gabled multipurpose building on the outskirts of the village of Šentrupert was designed by Ljubljana office Arhitektura d.o.o. for a Slovenian businessman and also houses facilities for storing crops and tools.
The barn's minimal appearance is influenced by the functional integrity and imposing presence of the pitched-roof wooden hayracks that are typical of rural Slovenia.
"The dimensions, appearance, colour and logic of inner division of the building are based on the tradition of the hayrack," the architects explained. "Even though the building is intended for agricultural activities of the homestead it is also an elegant 'protocol' and symbolic architectural creation."
The building's exterior is designed to blend in with other farm buildings in the area, while integrating new sustainable technologies.
"The dark facade looks similar to old wooden barns in the immediate surroundings and also allows a discreet inclusion of the photovoltaic roofing into the basic volume of the building," said the architects.
Located on the crest of a hill, the building's long elevation faces a lawn around which the owner's main property, an apiary and a wooden tool shack are also arranged.
A basement partly buried in the hillside contains the main functional spaces for dispensing and storing honey, pressing and storing fruit and keeping tools. A heat pump and bathroom with an integrated sauna are also situated at one end of this floor.
Four load-bearing pillars at the corners of the building allow for the ground floor's large span, which creates a space reminiscent of the open drying area of a hayrack.
The sparsely furnished room features floor-to-ceiling windows along three walls, which provide panoramic views and can be opened on one side to connect the interior with the lawn outside.
Meetings or family meals can be conducted around a long table in this room, which also accommodates a galley kitchen, a fireplace, an entrance hall and staircase to the basement and first floor.
Upstairs, another mostly empty space is used for tasks related to the farm in summer and as a billiard and fitness room in winter.
The internal profile of the gabled roof is left exposed in this attic area, which is clad in the same ash panels used throughout the rest of the interior.
Photography is by Miran Kambič.
Here's a project description from the architects:
The Black House - a modern hayrack
The owner is a successful Slovenian businessman who spends some of his spare time in the countryside. The property is situated on the edge of a small village on top of a hill, and consists of farm land, forest, residential building, barn house, apiary and wooden pavilion used as a tool shack. The client decided to replace the broken-down barn house with a new, multi-functional building, a sort of "modern Slovenian hayrack". The building is intended for dispensing honey, sorting, handling and drying fruit, storage of crops and tools, while the spacious ground floor is intended as a meeting place to host partners from abroad and celebrate family events.
Although the client's idea of a modern hayrack which would function both as a barn house and prominent protocol house seemed controversial at first, however, the idea revealed a great archetypal and development potential, which is inherent in the architecture of a hayrack in Slovenian cultural awareness. Professor Marjan Mušič compared hayracks with Greek temples due to their architectural purity and antique origin, as well as monumentality, derived from pure form. In terms of size, position and importance, the hayrack was a central structure of a homestead and the source of livelihood in general. This is where their almost sacral character stems from.
The beauty of hayracks should not be sought in luxurious décor but rather in their proportions, harmony of strict lines, functional credibility and installation in space, giving their surroundings a monumental character. This concept originates in the Antiquity and still has the expressive power for the modern times and new tasks.
The building was placed at the end of a 'pier', which concludes the site of the small village and from it panoramic views of the picturesque surroundings open up. Together with the residential building and the wooden pavilion this plot of land forms a large inner grassy courtyard of the homestead. The building has a semi dug-in basement, a ground floor and the attic. The construction basis is similar to that of the double hayrack with stone corner pillars. The corners of the new building feature four strong corner pillar structures, with a 12 meter bridge construction placed in between, thus allowing large unified spaces on the ground floor and in the attic. The construction is reinforced concrete with steel roofing.
The basement, accessible via pathway directly from the farm land, is designed for dispensing and storing honey, pressing and storing fruit, storing tools and similar. The basement also features a heat pump for heating and cooling the building, as well as a basement bathroom with a sauna.
The ground floor of the building is almost empty, which is similar to a hayrack. There is also a handy open kitchen, a fireplace, the entrance hall and a staircase connecting all three floors. The ground floor is glazed with large sliding doors which can be open wide and connect the ground floor with the natural environment or the backyard.
The first floor is mostly empty. In the summer the large space is intended for various farm chores, whereas in the winter time it is used as a billiard room and fitness. The first floor also features a mini guest bedroom with bathroom and a storage room.
The dimensions, appearance, colour and logic of inner division of the building are based on the tradition of the hayrack. The dark façade looks similar to old wooden barnhouses in the immediate surroundings and also allows a discreet inclusion of the photovoltaic roofing into the basic volume of the building. Due to the photovoltaics on the roof, the snow guards are replaced by wide jutting roofs placed above the ground floor openings. The interior is covered with bright ash tree panels which gives the impression that the interior is hollowed from a single piece of wood. Furniture is simple and accents clean lines of the spaces.
Even though the building is intended for agricultural activities of the homestead it is also an elegant protocol and symbolic architectural creation. With it the owner wishes to express a respectful attitude towards Slovenian cultural heritage and Slovenian constructional and architectural tradition and to the way in which buildings are placed into the environment. The bold construction of large spans which strikes us with hayracks also gives this new building an air of nobility, in harmony with the picturesque landscape of the surrounding pastoral scenery.
Architectural design: Arhitektura d.o.o. (Peter Gabrijelčič, Boštjan Gabrijelčič)
Co-author: Aleš Gabrijelčič
Location: Šentrupert, Slovenia