The 200 year old barn was subject to planning restrictions, being a structure deserving protection and one that was typical for agriculture. Great attention was paid to retaining the area’s appearance. The barn was replaced with a new building of an identical volume, which included two accommodation units and the business premises of the agricultural horse breeding operation. Working and living are quartered over four storeys, three of them within the roof. The characteristics of the barn were to be retained and its new residential usage was not to be visible from the exterior. Enough daylight had to penetrate the numerous living areas without too much interruption of the large roof area – it was a challenge.
Both gable ends were glazed and a grid of wooden spars along the facades hides the ceiling-high windows. On one roof surface three windows, crossing two storeys, bring light into the living space deep on the first and the bedrooms on the second roof floors. On the opposite side of the building lies the staircase with its large glass dormer window. This illuminates the kitchens and bathrooms which are arranged around the light well. The opening within the building also serves as an airlock and thermal brake so the equine operations on the ground floor and living spaces in the roof storeys do not impact on each other. Marked by their positions within the roof, the three units are open and airy on the lowest storey and more compact and cosier in contrast under the roof ridge. They can be linked together or used separately according to living requirements. The roof’s wooden construction is seated on a base carried on concrete columns, which is stabilized by a concrete core including staircase and lift. The materials are raw; finishing is minimal. The spaces are adorned by the marvelous views into the broad landscape outside.
Project Wiggwil Farm
Location Wiggwil, Aargau
Use Living and working space
Volume SIA 4800 m2
Photography André van der Westhuizen
Photography b/w Markus Lüscher