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At the entrance of a local village in Audierne, France is the Sentinel House by French architect Aurelien Chen, a hybrid barn house composed of three volumes staggered across a narrow and irregular plot of land.

A contemporary reinterpretation of the area’s architectural vernacular, the home simultaneously harmonizes and contrasts with its surroundings, appearing as a more traditional barn house when viewed from the south, and showing off its contemporary lines from the north.

Set on the lower part of the property, the main house features a material palette of western red cedar cladding, slate and zinc roofing, white wall coating and black stained wood. Clean lines and a minimal palette of pale wood and white walls dominate the light-filled interiors, highlighting the double-height volume. From the living area, steps lead down to the garden, and on the second level is a charming pitched roof volume that opens up to a small balcony. 

Along the staircase a steel mesh, used by local fishermen to cull seashells, casts dynamic shadows and changing patterns across the space throughout the day. Bedrooms and baths are appointed to the two remaining volumes of the home. 

An architect, building engineer and architectural photographer, Aurelien Chen has 20 years of international experience with small to large scale projects, ten of which were focused on cultural and renovation projects with Cui Kai Studio in Beijing. He now heads his own design practice, working across various architectural and artistic disciplines. Drop by his website and Instagram for more of his work.

Visit more contemporary barn houses across the world.

Aurelien Chen Sentinel House
Aurelien Chen Sentinel House
Aurelien Chen Sentinel House
Aurelien Chen Sentinel House
Aurelien Chen Sentinel House
Aurelien Chen Sentinel House

Photography © Chantal Andro / Aurelien Chen

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