A listed historic building – and its modern renovation

On a walk one day, Peter Stoll and his wife discovered a deserted Black Forest farmhouse with a fantastic panoramic view. For the surgeon, who is well-versed in the protection of listed buildings, it soon became clear that he wanted to save this gem from decay. He bought the property in 2011 and renovated it energetically and ecologically. Today the Rothenhof is the oldest originally preserved solitary farmhouse in the municipality of Stegen, with outstanding cultural and historical significance in the Dreisamtal valley.

Collage of the Rothenhof

From ruins to showpiece farm

The Rothenhof is a two-room deep, single-roofed byre-dwelling under historical protection. It was built in spring 1701 and was farmed until 1970. In the 1950s to 1970s, its outer appearance was greatly altered by modernisation. Although the block-beam stud constructions of the main house and the threshing floor were still in good order, the property was in poor condition: the building had partially slipped, the statics were at risk, there was moisture damage and a lack of insulation.

The restoration work had to take into account the historical value of the over 300-year-old farmhouse, while complying with the “KfW Denkmal” standard. To preserve the façade and thus the original character of the Rothenhof, the outer walls were insulated from the inside. The insulation had to guarantee the required air tightness while preventing moisture damage to the intact wooden construction. Therefore, the responsible persons decided on an eight-layer wall construction based on clay in combination with a wall heating system operated by a geothermal heat pump.

“We gathered lots of positive experiences on our journey. We would do it the same way again!”

The reconstruction of the farm was successfully completed in 2014 in accordance with today’s energy standards in historical building fabric. Electrical, sanitary and heating systems therefore meet modern efficiency requirements. Only ecological materials were used, such as the old building fabric or historical waste wood. Today, the Rothenhof is once again inhabited and farmed all year round: sheep farming makes a valuable contribution to preserving the landscape.

At a glance: The project in figures

Fact 01
Fact 02
Fact 03
Fact 04
Peter Stoll and his wife

Four questions for Peter Stoll

Your greatest motivation?
I couldn’t bear to see this beautiful, old, typical Black Forest farmhouse decay.

The biggest challenge?
The static reinforcement, because the foundation had already sunk.

Your personal highlight?
That we were not deterred by the difficulties and finished the project according to our vision.

Your insider’s tip?
Since you have to expect new surprises every day – one time, the steep slope above the house collapsed – you shouldn’t keep your budget too tight for such a project.

Share article: tweet share