Architecture studio (ma!ca) has renovated an old wine barn and its adjacent house, located within the historical center of the well-preserved village of Castries, in France, in order to create an intimate living environment. The project is based on the dialogue between architecture, history, and technicity, generating a unique design with attention to detail.
The studio has carried out the renovation, keeping the components that reveal the heritage and prestige of the pre-existing building. The stone staircase, the cement tiles, and the wooden roof framing were preserved, while the barn’s large volume and minimalist forms were turned into an open-plan and fluid living space, opening right up to the exterior through a square patio at the rear.
The existing house space is given over to the bedrooms, whereas the old wine barn welcomes the everyday family life activities. The archetypal barn form, all in one long structure, successively provides the kitchen, living room, and large table leading out onto the patio and the swimming pool. The position of the pool, adjoining the building, creates various atmospheres for each moment of life, allowing to experience the seasonal rhythms throughout the natural vibrations of air and matter.
On the outside, part of the roof of the original barn was removed to design the open-air patio. The composition of this space – within four walls – echoes the Mediterranean lifestyle. Furthermore, the choice was made to keep one of the gable stone walls of the barn, a vestige of the past, to ensure the thermal efficiency of the building. The limestone retains the right humidity level throughout the night, especially in summer, keeping the place cool and pleasant to use.
The patio also features half of the lap pool. The “half-pool half-patio” pattern gives this water slice its fundamental posture: it is the pivot of the overall outdoor composition and connects it with the indoors.