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  7. Balancing Barn / MVRDV

Balancing Barn / MVRDV

  • 01:00 - 14 October, 2010
Balancing Barn / MVRDV
Balancing Barn / MVRDV, © Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

© Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner © Edmund Sumner +15

  • Architects

  • Location

  • Design Team

    Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries, Frans de Witte, Gijs Rikken
  • Co Architect

    Mole Architects
  • Landscape Architects

    The Landscape Partnership
  • Client

    Living Architecture
  • Area

    210.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2010
  • Photographs

From the architect. Balancing Barn is situated on a beautiful site by a small lake in the English countryside near Thorington in Suffolk. The Barn responds through its architecture and engineering to the site condition and natural setting. The traditional barn shape and reflective metal sheeting take their references from the local building vernacular. In this sense the Balancing Barn aims to live up to its educational goal in re-evaluating the countryside and making modern architecture accessible. Additionally, it is both a restful and exciting holiday home. Furnished to a high standard of comfort and elegance, set in a quintessentially English landscape, it engages its temporary inhabitants in an experience.

Approaching along the 300 meter driveway, Balancing Barn looks like a small, two-person house. It is only when visitors reach the end of the track that they suddenly experience the full length of the volume and the cantilever. The Barn is 30 meters long, with a 15 meters cantilever over a slope, plunging the house headlong into nature. The reason for this spectacular setting is the linear experience of nature. As the site slopes, and the landscape with it, the visitor experiences nature first at ground level and ultimately at tree height. The linear structure provides the stage for a changing outdoor experience.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

At the midpoint the Barn starts to cantilever over the descending slope, a balancing act made possible by the rigid structure of the building, resulting in 50% of the barn being in free space. The structure balances on a central concrete core, with the section that sits on the ground constructed from heavier materials than the cantilevered section. The long sides of the structure are well concealed by trees, offering privacy inside and around the Barn.

The exterior is covered in reflective metal sheeting, which, like the pitched roof, takes its references from the local building vernacular and reflects the surrounding nature and changing seasons.

© Edmund Sumner
© Edmund Sumner

On entering the Barn, one steps into a kitchen and a large dining room. A series of four double bedrooms follows, each with separate bathroom and toilet. In the very centre of the barn the bedroom sequence is interrupted by a hidden staircase providing access to the garden beneath. In the far, cantilevered end of the barn, there is a large living space with windows in three of its walls, floor and ceiling. The addition of a fireplace makes it possible to experience all four elements on a rainy day. Full height sliding windows and roof lights throughout the house ensure continuous views of, access to and connectivity with nature.

- The house is an archetypical two-person home, expanded in shape and content so that it can equally comfortably accommodate eight. Two will not feel lost in the space, and a group of eight will not feel too cramped.

- A neutral, timeless timber is the backdrop for the interior, in which Studio Makkink & Bey have created a range of furnishings that reflect the design concept of the Barn.

The rooms are themed. Partly pixilated and enlarged cloud studies by John Constable and country scenes by Thomas Gainsborough are used as connecting elements between the past and contemporary Britain, as carpets, wall papers and mounted textile wall-elements. The crockery is made up of a set of English classics for two, and a modern series for a further six guests, making an endless series of combinations possible and adding the character of a private residence to the home.

The Barn is highly insulated, ventilated by a heat recovery system, warmed by a ground source heat pump, resulting in a high energy efficient building.

Cite: "Balancing Barn / MVRDV" 14 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/81757/balancing-barn-mvrdv/>
Read comments

72 Comments

Glass Polish · March 25, 2012

1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #awesome #architecture http://t.co/yRubVSke

biruk · January 11, 2016 08:28 AM

can u explain to me how its structure is stand....like way of constructing mechanism,material anything.please?

DeRosa Builders · March 24, 2012

Wow RT @doorwindowparts 1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #architecture http://t.co/oA0KwSCo

Domicile Experts · March 24, 2012

@RDBmagazine Hear that? That&#39s the sound of my jaw dropping to the floor http://t.co/zl1DTsnN

Domicile Experts · March 24, 2012

Wow RT @doorwindowparts 1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #architecture http://t.co/oA0KwSCo

Frame Trade UK · March 24, 2012

1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #awesome #architecture http://t.co/yRubVSke

RD+B Magazine · March 24, 2012

Wow RT @doorwindowparts 1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #architecture http://t.co/oA0KwSCo

DoorandWindowParts · March 24, 2012

1-story Barn constructed so 50% of structure is off the ground--cantilevered. #awesome #architecture http://t.co/yRubVSke

Marcos Aquino · March 23, 2012

Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/64rcqn0M vía @archdaily

Luis Correa · March 22, 2012

Balancing Barn / MVRDV in #England. More info: http://t.co/4aPsNLBV #Architecture #Design http://t.co/pvcymilo

Mirko · February 22, 2012

"...high energy efficient building"? Really? How many MJ/square meter/year???

mark soundr · November 10, 2011

lol

Cantilever · May 20, 2011

Great example of where architecture/structure meeting harmoniously http://tinyurl.com/2uujle5

Rene Repko · April 10, 2011

Outrageous architecture: Balancing Barn by MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/FkuWLcV

Justin M L Bryant · November 15, 2010

Cantelever + Architecture: http://ow.ly/39jlP

Florencia Lujani · October 25, 2010

Balancing Barn http://t.co/UbYxmDM via @archdaily

cool Architecture · October 19, 2010

What a crazy overhang!! 15m Cantilever on a domestic house! http://t.co/65hTa4Q via @archdaily

Leonardo Ximenes · October 19, 2010

I like it a lot. It reminds me of a Rothko canvas, maybe because of its shinining horizontality dividing green and blue. And the cantilever is soothing and impressive at the same time. The only thing i wouldn't do is clad the internal trusses with wood. It'd be a nice contrast to leave the metal stand out against the walls.

DJB · October 19, 2010

Hhhhmmmm........check this out

http://www.dailytonic.com/casa...

Have to say prefer the barn

Sameer · November 02, 2010 04:52 AM

Agree. So much more contextual. Even the simple seating on a lower contour makes the swing trick look flimsy.

watari · October 17, 2010

??????????Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://goo.gl/1aNa

Danny · October 17, 2010
o0 · October 16, 2010

Architecture: Balancing Barn by MVRDV [Pictures] - http://bit.ly/9pR3ja (via @archdaily) #design #architecture

Marie Mattei · October 16, 2010

RT @remi_la: Le mec voulait une balançoire, donc il a fait construire une maison http://goo.gl/pTdo #incroyable

Nik Sluijs · October 16, 2010

RT @johankramer: bewondert een kunstwerkje van MVRDV: http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S

Catherine Langford · October 16, 2010

Love how this plays visual tricks RT @Nnarchi: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://t.co/fj2Yz05 via @archdaily (nice pics @EdmundSumner )

Edmund Sumner · October 16, 2010

RT @Nnarchi: Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/fj2Yz05 via @archdaily

CAVP · October 16, 2010

Love the whole concept and simplicity of the form... but the reflecting material is awful. Looks like Frank Gehry/NASA gone country.

brianMCKINNEY · October 16, 2010 01:37 AM

Frank Gehry gone country... hilarious and true

Vanessa Palmer · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://t.co/uuTOkew (via @archdaily)

Tom Tran · October 15, 2010

#Countryside Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily: In this sense the Balancing Barn aims to live up to its education... http://bit.ly/9kdmht

Sefa Can Acar · October 15, 2010

RT @_missnd_: peki ya art?k kaç?m?z böyle bir sal?ncakta sallanmay? hayal edip durucak.. http://www.archdaily.com/81757... ...

ASphere · October 15, 2010

poor interior space

ar.suhrud bokare · October 15, 2010

great creation.

gible · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://ff.im/-s4ly9

??? JoongGeon MOON · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn_MVRDV_??_ http://twitpic.com/2xppfu #archtrip ??? ?? ??? ???? ????. http://goo.gl/TrEV

Maarten · October 15, 2010

Very rough finishings, and the roof angle feels out of proportion. It's just not refined enough. Don't like it

button · October 15, 2010

It's a shame that there is no site plan or photograph of the view out the end window...without knowing this it gives the impression that everything in the house is in service of the form rather than the other way round. There is a house in Portugal which I think achieves a much more beautiful resolution from a similar starting point.

http://www.archdaily.com/1063/...

kem tui · October 15, 2010

nonsense...

yoshihiro_horii · October 15, 2010

MVRDV ???? ? http://p.tl/adKL ??????????????????????????????????????????????? MVRDV ????????????????????????????????????????????????

Howon An · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/fj2Yz05 via @archdaily

BrianMCKINNEY · October 15, 2010

Great house. I don't feel I deserve to criticize. But, I'm not feeling the exterior cladding. It would be a great, subtle, statement to have the unassuming "barn", clad in somewhat traditional material surprise visitors. More so, I think the engineering and visual approach makes a statement enough. Aluminum? Too Andy Warhol.

ohtwo · October 15, 2010

I find the whole thing unsettling, like a school bus teetering on the edge of a cliff. Let's hope that the little girl on the swing doesn't gain any weight, or the whole thing might come tumbling over.

Plus, that's one heck of a looooong walk from the dining/kitchen to the living room.

Architekt R V Scholz · October 15, 2010

#Architekt #Calau Balancing Barn / MVRDV: © Edmund SumnerArchitect: MVRDV Location: Suffolk, ... http://bit.ly/aS5s4o #in http://dy.cx/c03

??-???? · October 15, 2010

http://is.gd/g2j4D deconstruction???????????????????????????????????????????

Milan Kramolis · October 15, 2010

p?kná budova - moc se mi líbí /// really nice building - like it (thumbs up) /// Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://www.archdaily.com/?p=81...

Paulo · October 15, 2010

Aquele chão em vidro agrada-me.- Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://bit.ly/aRRXul

ts · October 15, 2010

@up...
Im not even sure the idea is meaningful. At least as its written up here. Sounds like the Architects had a hill so they thought a cantilever was an appropriate response, and the metal work is pillowy, and oil canny bad.

"The Barn responds through its architecture and engineering to the site condition and natural setting. The traditional barn shape and reflective metal sheeting take their references from the local building vernacular."

Sameer · October 15, 2010 04:25 AM

Its a very cerebral response- and a detached one at that; as if MVRDV viewed the site as a geometric abstraction and only that sitting comfortably in their offices.

Ah the perils of being too smart.

eli cadalso · October 15, 2010
jumpei · October 15, 2010

RT @yuk_it: ????????w http://bit.ly/aAlaxq

mucho bucho · October 15, 2010

It reminds me of the north american postmodernism, where they live in giant shoes or giant woolen balls. Dont know why, it just reminds me..

yuki ito · October 15, 2010
Aqua Blue Pools · October 15, 2010

Funky architecture! Have you ever seen a balancing barn before? This is in the U.K. Wicked! http://lnkd.in/nMFJr9

Aqua Blue Pools · October 15, 2010

Funky architecture! Have you ever seen a balancing barn before? This is in the U.K. #in http://fb.me/JQ15icbq

Johan Kramer · October 15, 2010

bewondert een kunstwerkje van MVRDV: http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S

javier gamez · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/GdsvGkC via @archdaily

Weronika Racka · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV | ArchDaily http://t.co/gIpzrnO via @archdaily

Rémi · October 15, 2010

Le mec voulait une balançoire, donc il a fait construire une maison http://goo.gl/pTdo #incroyable

DEZIGN · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV: © Edmund SumnerArchitect: MVRDV Location: Suffolk, England Design Team: Winy Maas, Jacob v... http://bit.ly/bRu16r

Ramon R Taetz · October 15, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S #architecture

Jacqueline Monica · October 15, 2010

I kind of think this is lame. Anyone feel like arguing the point? http://www.archdaily.com/81757...

Erica Riva · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://t.co/SsisbI7 #architecture

Aidan Doherty · October 15, 2010

"Look, no hands!" RT @ArchDaily: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S

Taiana Car Vidotto · October 15, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S #architecture

Kurosawa@G · October 15, 2010

?????????????????????????????????????????????MVRDV??????http://www.archdaily.com/81757...

Barry Maguire · October 15, 2010

Balancing Barn / MVRDV via ArchDaily - © Edmund Sumner Architect: MVRDV Location: Suffolk, ... http://tinyurl.com/249ubzv

Stephen Knowles · October 15, 2010

For all of you that love a cantilever!!! http://bit.ly/9ToFSc

Evan Troxel · October 14, 2010

Amazing. Check out the swing, and the glass floor in the living room: http://bit.ly/bmfZJD

Luciana Galvão · October 14, 2010

RT @archdaily: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S #architecture

Anne Thomas · October 14, 2010

This is awesome!
Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://bit.ly/dpViUG

Fidear Morina · October 14, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Balancing Barn / MVRDV http://archdai.ly/cLAD5S #architecture

bob · October 14, 2010

lovely

up_today_arch · October 14, 2010

Good example whan the idea means more then realization, successfully or not...

Evan Troxel · October 14, 2010

I love this project! The swing and glass floor are really nice touches, and it looks like a comfortable, warm place inside. A structural feat.

Chicago Mike · October 14, 2010

Super cool country house! Love the swing...

···

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