Thistle Hill Farm

Set on 200 acres about an hour outside Madison, Wisconsin, Thistle Hill Farm takes a thoroughly modern design and disguises it as something more fitting: a traditional barn. The open floor plan includes kitchen, living, and dining areas downstairs, along with guest and kid bedrooms and a stone fireplace that's extended to the patio, while the upstairs loft holds the master suite and an office. It was built next to the foundation of a century-old barn, which was used for retaining walls by the pool, surrounded by a new garage and original outbuildings. Power is provided by solar panels in a nearby field, and the steel exterior framing lets it stand up to any weather, yet it's the red-painted cedar siding and a tin-plated copper roof that let it blend in with the landscape so well.

Photos: Werner Sträube / Northworks

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