Dezeen Magazine

DIGSAU uses reclaimed barn wood to clad modern home in Delaware

This single-family home in Delaware was built using wood reclaimed from a nearby agricultural structure slated for demolition (+ slideshow).

The house is dubbed Rural Loft because the architects intended to "bring the clean lines and open living arrangement of urban loft-type living to the Delaware countryside".

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

The three-bedroom residence is made up of a single-storey volume and an attached garage, encompassing 2,800 square feet (260 square metres).

Pennsylvania firm DIGSAU sought to emphasise the area's agricultural setting, so chose wood reclaimed from a nearby barn to clad the house.

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

"Simple forms are combined with local materials to reinforce the connection to the local agrarian tradition," said the architects.

In plan, the rooms are organised around a central core that contains utilities, storage and bathrooms. Sliding doors in key points of the house open and close to reconfigure interior spaces.

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

Two exterior decks allow the residents to enjoy the outdoors. "The house is surrounded by a site designated as a nature conservation zone with mature trees and plantings," said the firm.

"Private gardens and outdoor living spaces enable inhabitants to fully connect with the rural surroundings."

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

One of these decks is located on the southern side of the house, and is accessible only through the master bedroom.

The other, which lies to the north, extends the home's open-plan living and dining room into the garden.

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

The barn wood siding was installed as a "rainscreen". The vernacular construction technique allows for small gaps between the boards that lets air circulate around them.

This prevents the wood from moulding, and allows the material to weather naturally.

Rural Loft by DIGSAU

Insulation and waterproofing are taken on by a secondary cladding behind the planks.

Interior spaces were mostly finished in an off-white colour, which differentiates them from the textured and varied exterior.


Other residences inspired by barn-style architecture include a cedar-clad retreat in the Hamptons and a house with a gabled roof in Slovakia.

Photography is by Todd Mason.

Rural Loft by DIGSAU
Floor plan – click for larger image
Rural Loft by DIGSAU
Wall section – click for larger image