House Olmen

  • Pascal Francois
  • Terracotta
  • Sandy Beach marble
  • Corten Steel
A barn house doesn’t have to be a trip down rural memory lane. Architect Pascal François proved this in Olmen: he built a new stable unit next to an old barn. Both are connected by a funnel in corten steel—a tunnel full of peepholes providing views of the surrounding landscape and the architecture.

Old and new, rural and contemporary, authenticity and replica: the architect blurs boundaries in a fascinating way. He manages to fit radical and rural through the same stable door. Never does he lose respect for archetypical barn construction. For instance, he highlights the authentic barn's original trusses while at the same time covering the new building with roof tiles and copper, traditional farm materials. Even the corten-steel funnel is a subtle reference to rusty farm sheds. However, this design is completely contemporary in its details and the way it is perceived. Never before has a historical stable house been so focused on the landscape. Never before has a barn had such a luxurious inner finish in Sandy Beach marble and roughened oak. And never before has farm life been so sophisticatedly minimalist.

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