In the German village of Fergitz in the region of Uckermark, architect Thomas Kröger and team at
TKA recently converted a 140-year-old brick-and-timber barn into a family vacation house with a separate guest apartment. “In its time, it was an ultramodern building,” says Kröger, a Berlin star who got his start working for Norman Foster and Max Dudler. Now, the structure is ultramodern once again—while remaining true to its past.
N.B. The barn and guest house are for rent; go to
The Red Barn or Urlaubs Architektur for booking information.
Photography by Thomas Heimann via
Rote Scheune and Urlaubs Architektur. Above: The barn hadn’t been used for decades when the owners, a young family, bought it as a country escape. Its three new archways (with slatted-wood gates) open the house to fields, orchard, and garden. Above: The 1900 farm building, known as Landhaus, was once used to house two settler families as well as their cattle. The converted interior is still defined by a series of original beams and trusses. Above: Kröger describes his design as applying “the preexisting language of the house and adapting it using its own means and rules.” The house is centered by a double-height great hall with a fireplace (a necessity because the room is unheated). Note the inset sitting niches in the hearth. Above: The brick-paved great hall is cathedral-size in scope with two stories of rooms around it. Explains Kröger: “The space is designed so that the great hall is unheated and surrounded by an enclosed and heated body of rooms. So for the cold season, only the smaller and more sociable areas of the house can be used, like bird nests.” Above: The dining table is crowned by a wood-slatted pyramid that extends to the upstairs floor, which has three bedrooms, two baths, two studies, and a loggia. The minimalist kitchen is freestanding and defined by a sculptural angled ceiling hood. Above: The barn’s apartment is in a connecting structure with its own entrance. It has a living area and kitchen on the ground floor and two bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. Above: The bathroom’s honeycomb floor tiles extend up the walls. Above: Though contemporary in spirit, the room incorporates the wooden trusses. Above: Uckermark, just an hour north of Berlin, is a popular rural retreat.
Take a look at some more
farm conversions we’ve been admiring: