Architecture

Barn turned into attractive office with Jenga-like mezzanine

"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects
"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects
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Though it looks unchanged, the project, dubbed Stable, involved the sympathetic restoration of the exterior
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Though it looks unchanged, the project, dubbed Stable, involved the sympathetic restoration of the exterior
Additional windows and skylights were installed to increase natural daylight inside
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Additional windows and skylights were installed to increase natural daylight inside
Additional windows and skylights were installed to increase natural daylight inside
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Additional windows and skylights were installed to increase natural daylight inside
Atop the mezzanine area there are two desks
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Atop the mezzanine area there are two desks
Studio Farris Architects also inserted a new structure within the building itself, placing a new shell within the building, offering a uniform look and a more insulated interior
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Studio Farris Architects also inserted a new structure within the building itself, placing a new shell within the building, offering a uniform look and a more insulated interior
To create an office space, the firm added a novel structure comprising 12 layers of timber beams, stacked, Jenga-like into a complex structure
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To create an office space, the firm added a novel structure comprising 12 layers of timber beams, stacked, Jenga-like into a complex structure
Access is gained via a large sliding glass door
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Access is gained via a large sliding glass door
The timber beams also create bookshelves and other storage spaces
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The timber beams also create bookshelves and other storage spaces
Atop the mezzanine
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Atop the mezzanine
"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects
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"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects
The meeting area below the mezzanine
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The meeting area below the mezzanine
"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects
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"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects

Belgium-based firm Studio Farris Architects offers a nice example of a barn conversion done right with this recently-completed project in West Flanders. The firm turned a dilapidated farm building into an attractive office space with a Jenga-like mezzanine made from stacked timber beams.

The project, dubbed Stable, included a sympathetic restoration of the building's exterior and the addition of extra windows and skylights to ensure ample natural daylight permeates within. A large sliding glass door replaces the traditional stable door and opens up the interior to the outside.

Indeed, the renovation was more involved than it looks at first glance and included the installation of a new concrete structure within the building itself.

"A new volume with the same shape of the original building was inserted," explains Studio Farris Architects. "This box-in-box system allows [us] to improve energy efficiency and avoid any chemical reactions with sulfates in the soil and walls of the original farm." (Though the firm hasn't provided any energy efficiency figures.)

In addition to offering a pleasingly uniform and minimalist interior decor, this approach allowed the firm to fill the resulting gap in the walls with insulation.

The meeting area below the mezzanine
The meeting area below the mezzanine

The eye-catching mezzanine is actually removable should the owners wish to use the space for something else. It features a total of 12 layers of stacked timber beams, which top out to a small shared work area with two office desks, ample storage space, and even a small reading area. A meeting space was also created below.

"The stacked beams become library, bookshelves, storage and resting and reading corners," says Studio Farris Architects. "The beams were stacked in this particular way so that you can climb the stairs to the upper workspace, and can easily reach the different bars on each level."

Source: Studio Farris Architecture

3 comments
sk8dad
I foresee many a bruised elbow, shins, and foreheads.
Kaiser Derden
that may actually be the most unattractive workspace I have ever seen ... they took away the high ceilings for half the space and create a hugely distracting and I'm sure bruise inducing blob that eats up 1/4 of the remaining space ... guaranteed they did this on the taxpayers dime ...
Tom Lee Mullins
I wonder if one could be inspired to do something similar but as a house? It looks interesting. I like the stairs.
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