Architects: LEVS Architecten
Location: Den Helder, The Netherlands
Client: Rijksgebouwendienst (Dutch Government Building Department)
Landscape design: Marlies van Diest
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 1,150 sqm
Photographs: Marcel van der Burg
In February, the restored and renovated farmhouse in the North Holland landscape was deliverd. The old bell was substantially rebuilt and now houses two living areas for 20 vulnerable young people. After treatment in a special closed care facility they need help. In an intensive work and learning program, they learn to structure their lives and return to society.
The old wooden skeleton of the dome is repaired and the distinctive thatched roof is completely renewed. The farm shows its former glory. The sturdy character is preserved and woven into corten steel elements that represent the new use. The corten steel structure with wood filling is a new addition, together with large vertical ‘bay windows’. These traditional materials are woven into the restored part of the dome and together the old and the new form the face of the old farmhouse.
Both communes have their own entrance. They are located on the north side, accessible from the yard. Each resident has his or her own living/sleeping quarters on the ground floor. The communal living room and kitchen are on the first floor. In the hall on the ground floor are the impressive wooden columns of the farm construction, upstairs the truss and roof are in full sight. In the small barn, where classrooms are made, the fragile steel trusses an eye-catcher.
The specific characteristics of the Northern Dutch roof construction have been translated in a contemporary way into the design. The premises surrounding the farm will be used as a pasture for small livestock, and there will be a vegetable garden and orchard.