Surrounded by century-old fruit trees on a historic property outside Den Hague, Netherlands, Barn Rijswijk is a stunning example of how good, informative design can completely transform and otherwise ordinary structure into something, well, worth writing about. Designed by young Amsterdam-based firm Workshop Architecten, the contemporary barn is both respectful of the area’s archetypal architecture, and aware of the future world it will exist in for decades to come.

Most importantly though, this project isn’t all about looks, it’s a pragmatic design for a functioning farm, complete with hay loft, shelter for sheep, and storage for other equipment, in addition to housing a cozy apartment. And this gets to exactly why you’re here, reading about a barn on an outdoors publication—because just as we look for a balance of form and function in the apparel and gear we fawn over, we appreciate the duality in all forms of architecture too. It’s good design, plain and simple.

We’re especially loving the areas of transparency, both literal doorways offering ample access to storage areas, but also the generous use of translucent roofing and windows. The natural light and untreated wood interior contrasts nicely with a facade clad in black-stained Douglas Fir wood. Like a yin-yang. How relevant.