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Modern House Disguised as Barn to Sidestep Building Restrictions

It's a fantastic bit of architectural sleight-of-hand

Contemporary architects—and the modern home builders who love them—can find themselves in a bit of a predicament: How do you get around local residential design codes that necessitate certain stylistic choices, like, say including a peaked roof?

French design studio GENS: Association Libérale d'Architecture found out with a recent project for recently retired clients, a home in France's Alsace region built to imitate the gabled profile of nearby structures, particularly traditional Alsatian barns.

Clad in larch and corrugated metal, the two-story house clocks in at a modest 114 square meters (about 1,225 square feet). But its size wasn't the potential source of controversy: local regulations dictate that new-build houses include steeply pitched roofs, among other features. "Therefore, we 'hid' the contemporary project within a traditional looking Alsatian house," architect Guillaume Eckly told Dezeen.

The result is a house that, the architects admit, is often thought to be a conversion and was given the cheeky nickname "Disneyland" for its faux-historical looks. Exposed-timber rafters inside and contribute to this vibe, as does its overall form, which includes an oversized, gabled roof on a rectangular, concrete base.

Despite the local restrictions, modern touches abound, though: the ground floor accommodates an open-plan living and dining room and sliding glass doors lead from common areas to a terrace. A mezzanine-level guest room doubles as a study.

GENS "hides" a contemporary house inside a traditional but top-heavy Alsatian building [Dezeen]

Modern House Dazzles as Fresh Take on Traditional Dutch Barns [Curbed]

Midcentury Barn Conversion Reborn as Radiant Modern Home [Curbed]