The owners had always dreamed of living in the country, and in 2012, their dream came true when they purchased a property near Knowlton in the Eastern Townships. Constructed by the previous owners some six years before, the house was facing an old wooden barn built in 1850. The huge building was being used as a garage and an archery practice area. In February 2015, a fire completely destroyed the barn. The house was saved but was badly damaged – the exterior siding was blackened, the porch was partially destroyed, the entrance door had melted and the windows had been shattered by the intense heat. Furthermore, after the firemen left, water started to seep in through the walls. Since the owners’ insurance policy included a replacement cost rider for the barn, they had to rebuild it in the event of a disaster. Furthermore, the policy stipulated that should the barn be rebuilt, the owners had to keep the original building’s footprint, shape and volumes. So the couple decided to keep the barn’s original style but took the opportunity to redesign the space and turn it into an area that could be used by the entire family.
After looking at everyone’s needs, the owners decided to build a large apartment on the barn’s upper floor. The ground floor would include a garage, a carpentry workshop and a pottery studio with a boutique, which would allow the couple to fulfill a life-long dream. Using specialized software, they created a 3D model of the barn, which they then took over to Planimage to get the plans done. The new building really stands out with its bright red facing. People who see it from the street think it’s a classic barn with typical country doors, and the hexagonal tower that now houses the staircase leading up to the second floor looks like the old silo. It’s only once you enter the inner courtyard that you realize you’re looking at a truly unique building.