This unique trio of barn-shaped homes was created by the architect team at Mohring Architekten, erected among the lagoons, lowlands, and quiet sand dunes of Darss, Germany. A peninsula stretching into the Baltic Sea, this area has become known for its fishing history and, in recent years, eco-tourism. Designed accordingly, these three homes take on a familiar barn-like shape and employ thatched roofs and large sliding barn doors, sending these modern houses back in time. At the same time their evenly-spaced stand-alone configuration, clean simple lines, logical forms, and bold contrasts bring a heavy dose of modernism to their design. Both surprising and familiar, these unique country homes provide a taste of the simple life!
For all its simplicity, the interior of this structure has a tendency to make you pause and wonder which way is up! These cream colored staircases appear to unfold, reaching upwards in various directions – or are they reaching downwards? This exposed design does a lot to highlight the dynamic and angular form of these stairs, as well as the height that this building enjoys. This angle- and line- filled view is made possible by a central room that accommodates the majority of shared living spaces in an open concept plan.
Taking the barn theme one step further, the architects have incorporated a sliding barn door style into the homes' exteriors, turning a seamless wall of thatched straw into a wide open convertible wall that truly opens the interiors to the beauty of the countryside. Far from a heavy wooden door with clicking iron chains, this modern version of a sliding barn door features thin black panels of wood suspended from polished silver tracks – a statement of modernity in this thatched barn design.
Although these structures portray a sense of establishment and heaviness on the outside with their thick coating of thatched straw and their inky black siding, the interior of the home features an array of fine lines, light materials and hues, and enormous windows that allow plenty of natural light to fill the room. In a dynamic balance of extremes, this lighthearted interior counteracts the dense, sturdy look of the home's exterior.
The open concept floor plan of the home uses difference in ceiling height to distinguish between living spaces without blocking them off from one another with walls. The center of the home is designed to house a dining room, while the lower ceilings on both ends of the home create spaces for the kitchen, living room, and laundry room.
It's not every day a bathroom is given such an open, airy feel. Here, a peek into the bathroom shows how its placement has incorporated two structures into one, as a roof support wall becomes the rectangular column that houses the shower stall. Tucked away in its own dark space, this shower offers a quiet and subdued retreat from the brilliant light of the rest of the room while still maintaining an open dialogue with the space in its open, curtain-less design. A large bathroom sink (almost large and square enough to be considered a take on a traditional kitchen farm sink) sits under an even larger rectangular mirror that reflects the ample outdoor views provided by the windows. All together, these design features turn a session in the bathroom into a cleansing and rejuvenating experience offering a sense of spaciousness rarely found in a bathroom space.
For more countryside homes that embrace the beauty of nature, have a look at this tour of a trendy rural retreat!
This facade view shines a highlight on the form that was brought forth as the main identifying element of these homes – a pipe roof covered in thatched straw, which pads the outside of the structure in a simple, clean line. Akin to a typical pencil drawing of a house, this logical, simple form is the defining characteristic of these homes, drawing a tidy golden boundary around the few angles they posses. Emphasizing this clean, symmetrical look, the windows placed on the front of the home are completely balanced in their design, with four evenly-sized sliding cut-outs on the bottom mass of the structure, and a single window placed in the middle to resemble the familiar hayloft window of a traditional barn.
While most home tours will have you wandering through a single building, this tour features a small cluster of matching homes. Their orientation was decided based on the street that runs in front of all three in an East-West direction; they've been designed to view the street through side windows, while opening up to face their neighbors in a more intimate connection through the wide-open barn doors that flank the longer sides. As you can see in this photo, a small line of saplings has been planted along a wire fence that borders the road and runs a dividing line down between the properties; the architects explain that, over time, these saplings are designed to provide natural intimacy and noise dampening when they mature.