To us, architecture means respect for the experience. This project in Stams proves that architecture becomes more valuable when it pays respect – not only to the material, the environment, the people, the nature, but also to the history, the change, the existing building, and the idea. For this specific project, it means that fundamental structures remain largely intact while carefully added new elements create superior value, such as the multifaceted lighting concept that enabled the reinvention of an old barn. The new fitting opens up to the existing structure – both dignified and courageous. The newly created living space respectfully encounters the adjacent farmhouse as well as the barn.
The idyllic community of Stams, located around 40 kilometers from Innsbruck in the broad Inn valley, nestled between vast mountain massifs, largely matches Tyrolean clichés. The detached farmhouse, which has been reconstructed in this project, complies with the traditional architectural style of the region, featuring rustic wood, country-style windows, and stone foundations. The visual appearance of the farmhouse with the big barn does not reveal its particular inner qualities to the outside. Only the large windows, which open the weather-beaten wood façade, give a glimpse into a barn that features a modern living area.
Two generations share this house: the grandfather lives in the basement, his daughter with her family of three on the upper floor. To create more space for them, the second floor is extended throughout the barn and is equipped with a separate entrance. From the existing apartment, four steps lead into the redesigned barn. The extraordinary inner glass corridors create a unique spatial experience. To sufficiently supply them with light, a large window is embedded in the gable of the barn.
With an open view into the barn, the glass corridors lead to the kitchen and dining area, passing through the living room, where a stove constitutes the center. The glass corridors create a certain activity, which is countered by the calming, centered structures of the box-like living spaces. By using columns, these spaces are jacked up on the old vaults of the barn. The beams meet in the center of the ceilings of the room, thus creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere. The interplay of wood and glass elements speaks a modern, but also comfy language while materiality, colors and details consciously create visual coherence.