Old ruins are transformed into a cozy, off-grid guesthouse in France

From afar, this quaint guesthouse seems like a pile of rubble
— but take a closer look and you’ll find a tiny and cozy
getaway with interiors of Douglas fir. London-based architectural
firm Blee Halligan Architects
designed the little building, named Mountain Rescue, as guest
accommodations on the grounds of a historic watermill in the
historical coastal region of Languedoc in southern France. The
tiny, solar-powered structure was prefabricated off-site then
transported on-site using a single box truck to install it among
historic stone ruins.

wood doors on a stone building

Nestled within a wild and remote landscape and accessible only
by an “unmade track,” the Mountain Rescue was designed to
operate entirely off the grid and is powered by solar photovoltaic

wooden interiors of small stone structure and a patio chair outside

“The building sought to retain the beauty of the crumbling
stone ruin by placing a separate insulated timber structure within
it,” Blee Halligan Architects explained. “It was built entirely
from Douglas Fir, with an Iroko structure, which was easily
adaptable once on-site to suit the idiosyncrasies of the ruin’s
stone walls.”

On the left, bed beside wood-burning stove. On the right, stone building near trees.

The collapsed host structure was also a major design influence
and source for materials. The original clay roof tiles were
salvaged and
cleaned for reuse, while part of the existing building was
completely rebuilt with back-fill to further tie the new
construction to the site and create the appearance of ruins from
the exterior. A large Douglas fir window wall replaces one of the
collapsed walls and lets light into the bedroom while sheep’s
wool was used for insulation throughout.

Related: Modern alpine home is built on the ruins of an old rustic

red gutter on stone building covered in rain

The approach to the Mountain Rescue begins with a flat courtyard
with a centrally placed shade tree. The doorway — which was
salvaged — opens up the en suite bathroom and dressing room. The
bedroom is in the next room and is heated with a wood-burning stove, which also heats
the water in the bathroom. In contrast to the stone exteriors, the
interiors are sheathed in unpainted timber.

+ Blee Halligan

Photography by Sarah Blee via Blee Halligan Architects

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
Old ruins are transformed into a cozy, off-grid guesthouse in France