What if you spent every day looking for One Beautiful Thing?

Old and New


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Architecture: Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks
Photo: Sergio Pirrone

I watch a lot of house hunting shows, and my far-and-away favorite is BBC’s Escape to the Country, available for streaming on Netflix. It explores many interesting, ancient (by American standards, at least) structures which have been beautifully converted into residences. The barns, chapels, and industrial  buildings they show typically retain their original details and warmth while adding modern conveniences. Today, I’m excited to bring you a conversion that wouldn’t exactly fit their model. Architects Nathanael Dorent and Lily Jencks took the crumbling shell of an 18th century stone farmhouse with a spectacular view, and turned it into the hyper-modern Ruins Studio.

“To build within the walls of a ruin enforces the idea that our contemporary occupation is just another layer to be added to the rich history that every site possesses. Openings in the existing ruins walls define the location for windows, which, in turn, form the curves of the interior shell. Seen together these layers are like a geode, each one a surprising opposition to the layer that surrounds it, as if grown over time.” Jencks Studio

Because the studio’s location is so remote, it runs on solar power and is entirely self-sufficient. It comes as no surprise that the studio has won countless awards including the shortlist for the prestigious RIAS/RIBA Award in Scotland.

You can see more photos of the project on the architects’ websites:

All images property of Sergio Pirrone.

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Author: Donna from MyOBT

I have committed to spending part of every day looking for at least one beautiful thing, and sharing what I find with you lovelies!

13 thoughts on “Old and New

  1. Oh…I am loving this. Probably wouldn’t go so modern but I love the re-use of what was.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fabulous conversion! I too love property porn.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is pretty stunning architecture. I would never have thought that coupling an ancient building with space age shapes would be so pleasing. The white is a bit too spare for me but I love the quality of light and all those curves. As an aside, I had a bit of an addiction to Escape to the Country when my kids were babies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow–what a conversion. Would be interesting to see in person. Obviously extremely livable–but I would be afraid of leaving a handprint or footprint. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wait, hunting shows? I do love the house, but I don’t know what to think about completely empty shelves. (I don’t see the pictures with their stuff.)

    Liked by 1 person

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