Barache Residence in Auviller, France
“I didn’t want the kind of manicured garden that would mean I’d have to come out on weekends and mow the lawn,” says Jean-Baptiste Barache of the French country home he built, mostly by himself, over a year and a half. The result: a house that looks like it’s just been dropped into a field, casual, with nary a path leading up to it and a front door that can barely be detected on the red-cedar-shingled facade.
Ochre Barn in Norfolk, England
Subverting the traditional, conservatively cozy British barn conversion, Carl Turner created a getaway in rural Norfolk for himself and his friends to visit, repose, and consider the beauty of agrarian minimalism. Tucked away in a corner of Norfolk County, England, his pair of barns—one new, one renovated—sit low in the vast countryside.
Oriented strand board (OSB), a medium associated more with shuttering around large construction sites than with residential design, lines the interior of Turner's home to near entirety. Here, a row of Penguin Classics near the window casts an orange glow on the OSB-clad living room outfitted with custom furniture.
Goodman Residence in Pine Plains, New York
This renovated 19th-century barn boasts 48 windows—the largest of which measures 8'6'' by 7'6''. As architect Preston Scott Cohen explains, the "free facade makes it impossible to identify how many levels there are, or even to tell the difference between a door and a window."
In a narrow residual area between the breezeway and the house's northern elevation, architect Preston Scott Cohen created a so-called "skinny space," with a changing area accessible to the outdoor shower.
Floating Farmhouse in Upstate New York
A semitransparent addition to Tom Givone's Floating Farmhouse has a roofline that matches the pitch of the original 1820s structure. A porch, tucked under the side eaves, is cantilevered over a stream that runs through the property. Ikea loungers are illuminated from the interior by commercial gymnasium lights repurposed as pendant lamps.
Working with local contractors, Givone removed two bays in the back of the house and erected a new wing, similar in proportion to the original gabled structure but finished with a transparent portal of 22-foot-tall skyscraper glass—the ne plus ultra of the picture window.
Geometrie Bleu in Havre-Aux-Maisons, Canada
On Canada's Magdalen Islands, a renovated farmhouse connects to an adjacent storehouse with the addition of a richly hued, cedar corridor that looks like an errant boxcar that has come to rest at an oblique angle between the two structures.
Inside, a high, pitched roof and neutral walls give the space an open, tranquil feel, making it a desirable spot for its residents to pursue two of their passions: classical music and literature.