Conversions of unconventional buildings to unique homes are always the most interesting projects to view, and sometimes to create. When Spain-based OOIIO Architecture began work on remodelling a former hay loft, they had no idea how it was going to look when completed; the project was designed onsite, day by day, solving problems and creating an immersive collaboration between the client and the builders.
The initial goal was to avoid the collapse of a group of former modest agricultural constructions which were once used as a hayloft, tool rooms, barn for mules, dog pounds, water well, and kitchen for the workers, and a cave used as a fridge to keep the food fresh when there was no electricity or home appliances. Some of the spaces are hundreds of years old while others date from the beginning of the 20th century. What the structures had in common was that they were cheap, functional constructions used as countryside work spaces. After more than 50 years of disuse and no maintenance, the buildings were about to collapse.
The first works were purely structural reinforcements of roofs and falling adobe and brick walls. The architects followed the original techniques and respected the way those elements were built originally, understanding the way the builders worked those materials in their respective time.
Original wood doors were repaired, clay tiles were cleaned and polished, damaged structural beams were repaired and reinforced, and the walls were stripped to reveal the original materials. The architects realized that the key to success was to apply a methodical approach in maintaining the integrity of the archaeological features while using them to inform modern interventions, resulting in a new and special mestizo building.
Photo credit: OOIIO Arquitectura, josefotoinmo