Ancient stone housebarn becomes couple's tranquil home-office

In the Cantabrian mountains of Northern Spain, the traditional barn houses- used by nomadic farmers who graze their livestock on only grasses- have been abandoned as larger mechanized operations took over the industry.

Laura Álvarez, who grew up enjoying the raw nature of this region, bought an abandoned stone house barn, a "cabaña pasiega", and rebuilt it paying homage to its past (passive solar orientation, few windows), but with a modern take.


To capture the areas’ rapidly changing weather and expansive views, Álvarez cut huge panoramic sliding glass doors into each side of the home to capture a view of the mountain and waterfalls, as well as the view of the valley below.

Dubbing the home Villa Slow, Laura and her partner Lewis (who created much of the home’s furniture from local wood) spent their two-month quarantine here and fell in love with the slower rhythms of life: chopping wood, cooking outdoors, hiking and watching the scenery. They are now trying to figure out a more permanent move to the home.



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