How a house was built from an old sheep shed: an example from New Zealand.

This house is another incredible design from architect Ben Daly. All his houses were previously non-residential buildings: a railway carriage, a garage, and now a sheep barn. Let’s see what came of it

The barn, which in the past was part of a farm, did not go to the owners of the house by chance. Ben’s wife, Dulia, received it from her farmer father. The family knew right away what to do with it, Ben was especially pleased, and here’s why. 

Ben is an unusual architect. He takes abandoned industrial sites and turns them into comfortable homes. The architect is sure: why build something new if you can remake the old one. “Don’t create, remake” is Ben’s operating principle. 

These useless buildings can bring a lot of benefits. Waste – a broken railway car, a dilapidated barn, a rickety garage – this is what we must be responsible for.

The facade of the one-story house looks like it is still an agricultural building, but this is only at first glance. In fact, the facade was thoroughly strengthened.

The biggest challenge for Ben was to insulate and waterproof the barn, as the barn was clad in thin metal panels. We also had to do a fair bit of work to clear the house of traces of the sheep that had lived here for 60 years.

I wanted the house to look like an agricultural building even after the renovation. I even made the ramp from an old trailer so as not to disturb the rural landscape around.

Inside, exposed wood beams betray the home’s past. Pay attention to the decoration of the walls; some of them were covered with a glossy corrugated polycarbonate film. So daylight, reflected in it, makes the space even lighter and visually larger.

Interestingly, the same film was used instead of the roof windows. According to Ben, it retains heat just as well as window frames and provides soft, diffused light in the interior.

Almost all of the materials Ben used to decorate his home are recyclable. So, the walls and all partitions were finished with chipboard, felt and recycled foam were chosen for thermal insulation, plywood was used on the floor, and all the furniture was made of wood.

The layout is open, there are no doors in the interior except the bathroom. The kitchen and living room are combined, from here two bedrooms are zoned using arches.

Ben made most of the furniture with his own hands from wood. Kitchen set made of solid oak, storage systems made of stained particle boards, table made of American oak. And one wall in the kitchen is finished with horizontal beams made from macrocarpa wood, which collapsed on the farm due to a storm.

In place of the gutters where the sheep used to feed, they created a seating area with a sofa and bookshelves. The oven was also located here. And the former feed storage hatch is now used as a place to store firewood.

Ben and Dulia’s bedroom is designed like a capsule: a compact bed, shelves on top and nothing else.

I like to give furniture additional functions when a wall becomes a bed, a bookshelf and a hanger all at the same time.
In order not to burden the children’s space, the storage system was hidden under the bed. In addition, the spouses are sure that when books are not put away high on the shelf, the child is more willing to take up reading.
On the property near the house there is an old concrete tray for feeding sheep. Even Ben decided to leave it and plant it with reeds, making a drip system for irrigating the area. 
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