Conversions: stone barn into woodwork training centre

Czech studio 3+1 Architekti has added a zigzagging wooden extension over old stone walls to turn a former agricultural barn into a woodwork training centre.

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Woodworking firm Jacer asked 3+1 Architekti to create a training facility near the city of Ústí nad Labem. The site already contained several 19th-century farm buildings constructed around a courtyard, but these had become derelict after being abandoned in the 1990s.

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Recognising the historical appeal of the existing structures, the architects convinced the client to insert the offices, classrooms and meeting rooms for the training centre inside the remaining walls of a ruined barn, rather than constructing an entirely new building.

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“We were able to keep the original form of the complex and to preserve the interesting facade,” said architect Pavel Plánička . “Compared to new buildings, using original fragments adds continuity to places where something new emerges, and it wasn’t any more expensive.”

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The barn’s 62-metre-long stone walls were retained and existing openings were adapted to provide entrances and windows for the new building.

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The old walls support the new second storey, which was added to accommodate the additional space required by the client.

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Skylights integrated into the east-facing surfaces allow a consistent level of daylight to reach classrooms arranged across the top floor, while west-facing windows illuminate a communication space and a large meeting room.

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