In a small town in the Cerdanya region of Spain, the architect team from Sun Architecture rehabilitated a home whose exterior matches its historic surroundings, and whose interior offers all of the style and modern convenience a family could ask for. Located on a sunny south-facing slope, this building lies on the outer circle of a dense rural nucleus formed by 20 village homes, and, is surrounded by fields and meadows where agriculture and livestock are the main activities. Most buildings in the village were built during the same era, and they employ simple materials like stones and wood to create a system of planks and tiles where no bonding material has been necessary.
The client who commissioned the project started with a haystore, a warehouse, a small stable, and a small village home – all of which have been transformed into a modern and convenient home. The original volume of the buildings has been maintained as well as the original wooden trusses that support the roof, but the facades have been rehabilitated, and the interior spaces have been redistributed. The goal of the project was to create a home filled with wide spaces, in a rural setting where the stunning views of the surroundings become part of the interior.
In an area of Spain that's not often visited by international tourists, this village enjoys a slice of paradise all its own. Beyond these farm fields, you can see a tightly formed village where this rehabilitation project has been undertaken – but you'll be hard pressed to identify the home from the outside, as the exterior has been preserved to maintain its original rustic character. Rehab projects like this are increasingly popular in Spain as these historic villages strive to preserve their unique heritage through the interesting stories that their buildings have to tell.
With a sloping roof that seems to live in harmony with its hillside location and grey field stones forming the walls of the structure, this home was built to match its surroundings! When the sun begins to set over the nearby mountains, you can get a glimpse of the illumination that pours from the interior, alluding to a more bright and modern space inside. However, as this image shows, the true beauty of this home lies without, inherent in its lush, dynamic, and picturesque natural surroundings.
This was once a spot where a herd of sheep might gather for a moment before being herded out to the fields to graze; now it's a generous patio space offering a wide and warm welcome for family or neighborhood gatherings!
A glimpse through the entryway reveals a long room, topped off with the original wooden beams that once formed an agricultural outbuilding. No longer filled with tools, farm implements, and feed, this shed structure now houses bright sitting area and kitchen, both of which receive ample sunlight from the openings in the walls.
Here, another open concept room includes a living room area, dining room table, and kitchen, all with a similar black and white geometric theme. All around, the lines in this room draw swooping horizontal planes that serve to emphasize the room's generous floor plan. These long, low lines also help to infuse the space with a sense of rest and relaxation.
The modern black and white colour contrast provides a nice juxtaposition against the raw textures and rugged character of the rough beams and bricks that provide the structure of the room. The result is a unique hybrid space that features a contrast of smooth, polished, and streamlined features that speak of modernity, with rustic features that speak of the past.
Everywhere you look in this home, there's a modern element that's been designed to give a subtle nod to past cultures, styles, and materials. In this image, you can see three hanging lamps above the dining room table – instead of a sleek steel or copper fixture, these designers have opted for a straw colour and wicker basket texture that would almost make you believe that these lights have been created from the cestas, or baskets, that were traditionally used for carrying and storing food.
Although the colours of the home are neutral greys and beiges, the whole space exudes a sense of light and warmth – and this room more than others! This sitting room includes a stylish modern hearth that will heat the space in the winter, with a wide window to the side for letting in plenty of warm sunlight. Although the decorations are sparse, the view of this living room space is welcoming and lush, as the room incorporates natural elements such as trees, grass, wood, and stone that flood the senses with natures comforts.
The colours and materials of this rehab project have obviously undergone a meticulous selection process – just observe the way the new window frame matches the stain and tone of the old wooden beam that provides the exterior structure of the frame. Similarly, the various shades of grey and beige that have been chosen for the sofa, lighting, and floor offer a perfectly matched modern version of the variation in grey that you can see in the home's stoney walls. It's rare to find a home that matches its interior and exterior in such a seamless manner!
The bathroom is the only room in the home where any hint of history has been removed – the tiles and stones of the rustic building have been converted into a playful geometric tiled pattern that offers a very abstracted version of the stone walls in the rest of the home. A small, rounded sink softens things up with its circular shape, and all-white features serve to brighten up a space that receives little natural sunlight.
A final look at some details reveals a few pieces that have been salvaged from the original outbuildings – instead of throwing them away, these clever designers have had them fashioned into a decorative wall hanging that displays the types of windows and doors that these structures used to employ. With these remnants hanging artfully along the staircase, the home's rustic origins will always have a ready story to show and tell!
Loving the natural woods that fill this rustic home? If you're thinking about incorporating wood into your home or home project, have a look at this ideabook that explores the pros and cons of having wood in your home's design.