A GOOS/LOVERA ARCHITECTS was challenged with converting an early–20th-century Connecticut horse barn into a recreation facility and guesthouse for family gatherings. Although most of the changes were internal, the team carefully considered the barn's history and architectural details when choosing finishes and furnishings for an open gathering space complete with a great room, bar, kitchen, billiard room, and upstairs guest quarters. It also opened and widened the barn doors to connect the interior more directly with the picturesque landscape.

Using original materials helped the 2,500-square-foot barn retain its rustic feel. Walls of the original horse stalls were reintroduced as a railing for the upper-floor balcony.

The most unusual feature is a round, copper spa tub inserted in the barn's silo, which includes windows to provide light and views of surrounding trees. “This is indicative of the project in general,” says architect Jim Rowe. “The new uses fit into and enhance the existing spaces ... so well that it seems as if they were originally designed for those purposes.”

Category: Adaptive reuse project; Entrant/Architect: Agoos/Lovera Architects, Philadelphia; Builder: Property Showcase, Rowyaton, Conn.; Interior designer: Joan Butman, New Canaan, Conn.