Renovate an existing barn to create an accessible dwelling unit with art storage and gallery.
First Floor Level: Living Space: 1682 sq. ft.
Deck: 189 sq. ft.
Gallery: 822 sq. ft. (space available with headroom above 5 feet)
When approached by the client, a middle-aged couple with two young-adult children, we jumped at the opportunity to renovate a quaint Vermont barn to an accessible in-law apartment. The unit is to accommodate a grandmother, who currently lives with our client, with the eventual goal that the client will move into the space later in life. Creating an on-site in-law suite allows different family generations to dwell nearby, while maintaining their separate, personal spaces. In order to enhance the livability of the space, the whole dwelling unit, excluding the Guest Room, is to be barrier free from the exterior through to the circulation within.
An interesting twist in the program is driven by the fact that one client member is an artist. He intends to use the upper level loft for large canvas storage and occasional public showings. With this in mind, we located the new stair in the entry foyer, which is designed to be closed off from the family and private areas of the residence when the gallery is open to the public.
Repurposing this rustic structure on a charming, rural site will provide space for different generations of this family to call their own, eventually allowing the client to age-in-place by adapting to the family’s needs over time.