Since the first day we saw our traditional French barn we had a vision of the contemporary home it will eventually become.
Over the past months we have marvelled at the beauty of the rustic and traditional materials and craftsmanship and enjoyed how the new materials and contemporary techniques are merging with old as our boutique chalet gradually emerges.
The main part of the traditional building was the old wood structure where animals would once have been kept with a small living quarters, in stone, below. It was certainly rustic and, to us at least, crying out for a contemporary re-imagining. As soon as we saw the wonderful craftsmanship and the traditional internal structure we saw how with the juxtaposition of contemporary style and new materials alongside rustic old wood we could create a stylish modern home here.
As more of the existing, traditional barn structure was uncovered we re-designed our layout to be sure our contemporary home kept as much of the original, rustic style as possible for both structural and visual benefit.
As the traditional bardage (panelling) was stripped away it gave us lots of old wood planks, not enough and too damaged unfortunately to reclad the new, contemporary building but plenty we hope to salvage and create some traditional character inside.
When the wooden framework was sandblasted the beauty of the traditional structure revealed was breath-taking.
We also sandblasted an old cupboard left by the previous owner, it really added nicely to the vast range of tones and textures in the different woods in the barn.
As spring started to arrive the building held on to its rustic appearance as new wood arrived and was incorporated into the structure sometimes in rather concerning, if only temporary, ways!
The traditional barn has been here since 1850 so is (I hope) sturdy enough to withstand the main front supports being propped up to straighten the very rustic and leaky roof.
Old wood merges with new as contemporary techniques and fresh materials start to create the floors and walls of, what will be, our boutique chalet within the rustic, traditional framework. Here’s the floor of one of the guest bedrooms poking out from the still rustic old roof.
The mezzanine created for our master bedroom and contemporary ensuite bathroom will sit directly under the traditional wooden roof boards.
More contemporary building materials are gradually integrated into the structure and wood salvaged from the barn is being cleverly used to create new structures such as the traditional gallows bracket below.
As the snow disappeared from Morzine and Montriond (at 1000m) we were suddenly a little more exposed than we liked as the old wood on the roof needed to be removed and replaced with reclaimed wood.
Soon the team had reclaimed roof boards in place for our new roof to maintain the rustic and traditional look and we were able to progress the build of the contemporary chalet inside.
With the chalet dry inside the building of the contemporary home is progressing at a pace. Lorry loads of contemporary building materials arrive and at times you do wonder how all of this modern material will fit in! This is just the insulation for the roof…
With ‘Grand Designs’ style modern techniques we are creating old and rustic looking from new materials, burning and brushing new pine to create our own ‘vieux bois’.
Gradually the traditional and still very rustic looking barn is being transformed into a modern and contemporary home…
always harmonising rustic and traditional with the contemporary style.