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Venerable outside, spectacular inside

With great dedication, a sense of sustainability and a great deal of love for the historic substance, a Hamburg architect brought a farmhouse from 1914 into the 21st century.

In the countryside, the treatment of old buildings is sometimes quite unsentimental: “Why don’t you just push the place together and build something fancy new?” Justus Asselmeyer heard this question more than once after his wife and he bought the remaining farm near Buxtehude in Lower Saxony. The 19th farm in the village of Goldbeck, a farmhouse from 1914. Its fate as a large pile of rubble could have already been sealed, as with the twin in the neighboring village, which had to make way for three semi-detached houses. But Justus Asselmeyer, an architect by profession, grasped within minutes what he could make of this house – the renovation of a farmhouse: venerable red brickwork outside, a dream of spaciousness inside. 250 square meters of floor space with a ridge height of nine meters, supported by a wonderful beam work. And so the reactions of neighbors and friends sound completely different today: “What you have done with this house …”

It is indeed to be marveled at. Admittedly, the building had to undergo a total renovation led by Justus Asselmeyer between its purchase in 2014 and the occupation by the now five-member family in 2016. It was completely gutted, the floor plan was rearranged, and the hayloft above the former barn was converted into living space. The sustainability of the work was important to Asselmeyer: All masonry and clinker walls as well as the entire wooden supporting structure in the ceiling and roof were to be retained. Saving as much as possible of the old into the new – that was the leitmotif of the renovation. A real challenge.

The entire article as well as further information and a comprehensive documentation on the renovation and conversion of a remnant farm can be seen at:

Photography: Monica Gumm


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