A hundred years ago a Bulgarian family built their house and barn in Karpachevo. The barn hosted sheep, pigs, cows, and a donkey, the second floor was used for storing hey and grain and for drying herbs. The first family and the house are far gone now but the barn has been given a new life. Some 10 years ago a young family – Iva Taralezhkova and Kamen Terziev, bought it and started thinking of how to preserve this authentic stone-and-adobe building. A third family, Melchior and Christine Buchs, their friends from Switzerland, visited them and were fascinated and inspired by the charm of the old barn, too. That is how the four friends decided to make a project together.
The PLEVNYA (barn) project
The two latter families asked another family of friends, prominent Bulgarian architects, to transform the barn into a guesthouse. They were particularly attracted by the original wooden roof structure made of twisted local oak beams and decided to expose it as dominant design element in the interior. Extensive glazing keeps the exterior close to the original while the green roof covering is both radical and vernacular.
The Green Roof
In the meantime, yet another family of friends stepped on the Barn stage. They were starting a new, innovative for Bulgaria, business – production of key components and installation of green roofs. As Innova Top Green had just opened to the inspiring world of green architecture and building, in no time it was decided that the Old Barn would have the first steep pitched green roof in Bulgaria.
The new roof beam was high and heavy, and so was the challenge. Digging deep to install a water-cleaning station and drainage, combining old and modern materials and techniques, making out-of-the-box decisions day after day, installing a complex fundament for the green roof, trying to preserve as much as possible the authentic construction. And all these – in the small village of Karpachevo, with difficult access to workers, technical equipment and supply…
Nevertheless, after a long one year under the hot sun, in the rain, in the mud and in sawdust, the dilapidated Old Barn turned into a beautiful PLEVNYA Guesthouse!