Alchemy Architects Create Modern Barn House in Rural Wisconsin

When Donna Brogan and Bert Hodous set out to build a new home in Blair, Wis., they were conscious of the rural environment around them, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t build the modern house of their dreams.

Architect Geoffrey Warner of Alchemy Architects led the team that brought their vision to life.

“Bert and Donna wanted a house that could be modern and contextual at the same time; one that gave them the space and accommodation that they needed, while staying modest in attitude and scale,” Warner said.

Both Geoffrey Warner and Tony Szak, builder and president of Empire Development and Construction, set out to create the client’s rural paradise dream home.

The home’s 900-square-foot floor plan is nestled into the rolling hills of their 200-acre farm. Energy efficiency and the wise use of resources were a high priority for the homeowners.

Even though there are relatively few windows, Warner’s floor plan makes certain that there is enough daylight coming into the house.

“The light is shared in the open space to create an airy space that changes throughout the day,” Warner said.

Constructed out of locally harvested white oak, the house breathes fresh life into the rural landscape, while still staying true to the integrity of the other homes in the area.

Arguably the best part of the house is the west side porch, which Warner says, “lights up like a lantern on the outside at night, and on the inside in the late afternoon sun.”

With its use of efficiency, sustainable resources and rustic, modern Midwest design, it is no wonder that the Barn House received a national AIA Housing Award in 2011.

This little house on the prairie just got a whole lot cooler.

Images in the top graphic and on the home page are from Alchemy Architects.